In an increasingly competitive job market, the University of Pittsburgh is trying to give its students a leg up by ensuring they can secure an internship. Starting this fall, any registered Pitt undergraduate on the Pittsburgh campus will be eligible to participate in the Internship Preparation Program (IPP).
“We want the internship either to provide a tangible experience for a career path that they students have already selected that is based on their academic decisions, or to explore different career options they aren’t sure they want to explore yet,” said Alyson Kavalukas, internship coordinator with the Career Development and Placement Office at Pitt.
The program has a lofty goal – it is promising that every single student who completes the IPP will be able to secure an internship before they graduate, no matter how difficult they may be to place.
“We are guaranteeing an opportunity and not limiting ourselves to regional employers during the semester,” said Kavalukas, “we also are reaching out to employers nation-wide, we also are launching for the first time this year, an international internship in partnership with our study abroad and business school.”
The IPP includes sessions on resume formatting and content, searching for the right internship, and preparation for an internship interview.
“This program is offered throughout the semester, we’re actually offering them every week and adding opportunities every day for students to enroll in the program. The new initiative includes both group sessions as well as individual assistance sessions to get students to the point where they’re actually placed in a position,” said Kavalukas.
She said that after researching the issue, looking at other schools, and outreach at national conferences it seems this is a first-of-its-kind effort. Increasingly, employers are requesting graduates with some sort of experience, so Kavalukas added, this program will give Pitt students an edge in the workforce.