Employers weigh internships more heavily in hiring than where you went to school, your grades or your major – that’s the essence of a quote pinned outside the sociology department’s academic advising office at Illinois.
It may not be universally true; it’s the conclusion of just one study four years ago. But for Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone, the director of undergraduate studies for the department, it makes the point: Internships matter, even in fields of study where they’re not always assumed.
The good thing is that students don’t need to leave the university community to do an internship, and summer is not the only option. Liberal arts and sciences students also have a place to find those opportunities at LAS in C-U, an annual fair that connects Champaign-Urbana employers with students seeking spring and summer internships.
The fair this year is Nov. 6, with optional prep sessions about a week earlier. The target audience is students in LAS, but all students are welcome.
Even freshmen are invited, and even if they don’t know what they’re looking for, said Holtzclaw-Stone, who is co-chairing the planning committee. “I say to them, ‘You may not be looking for an internship this year, but it’s good to see what’s out there. It helps you figure out what you are interested in.’”