The image that often comes to mind when one hears “internship” is that of the unpaid staffer in the office who is made to go on the coffee runs.
Gone away is that depiction with FGCU’s Office of Internships and Cooperative Programs.
“This office is a place where students of any major — doesn’t matter what major you are — can come and tell us what you’re looking to do,” said Devin Ossi, an intern at the OICP. “If you’re looking for a job or an internship, we can help you with that.”
The office’s main focus is to offer students experiential learning for course credit through internships and cooperatives, which differ in both time commitment and payment. Internships are typically 10 to 20 hours a week, so students remain enrolled in courses part or full-time for the duration of their internship. It depends on the employer whether or not it will be paid. Co-ops, on the other hand, entail 26 to 40 hours of work each week, so students may or may not be enrolled in classes as well.
Co-ops pay at least $15 an hour but do require a 3.5 GPA to be considered for the program.
“Co-ops are not designed for every student,” said Stacey Ballinger, the director of the OICP. “We would hope every student here would do an internship.”
There are two students involved in co-ops this semester. The OICP will likely cap the number at 50 once student involvement grows.
“A lot of students don’t know we exist yet, which is understandable, since we’ve only been around for six months,” Ossi said. “We just want to increase the awareness about this new department that the campus has.”
Another tool the OICP offers is Eagle Career Link, which can be accessed at fgcu-csm.symplicity.com/ students/.
“It’s like an awesome LinkedIn,” Ossi said. ECL allows students to customize their preloaded accounts to do everything from developing a professional resume to applying for a job to registering for workshops hosted by the OICP. The software can also compile all of a student’s experiential learning from his or her time at FGCU to create a supplementary cocurricular transcript upon graduation.
For more information, contact the OICP at 239- 745-4423 or [email protected] The office, which is located in Edwards Hall, room 212, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and walk-ins are welcome.
“When you participate in an internship, you’re 80 percent more likely to get a job offer,” Ballinger said. “When you do an internship that is coop based instead, the likelihood of getting an offer is higher than that; it’s in the 90s. So, it’s advantageous for our students to do that in this particular economic climate.”