For most students, internships have become an important part of the college experience.
But how can students truly take advantage of the intern experience? How can they make it more than just a resume builder or a requirement for their major?
The Campus Greensboro Fellows Program seems to have found the secret sauce. The 10-week summer program includes a paid internship, networking events, leadership training, and an assigned mentor for each student.
Now in its fourth year, the program served 107 college students this summer, and 42 of those students are from UNC Greensboro.
“Our mission is to retain students after graduation,” said Lizzy Tahsuda, director of Campus Greensboro. “We want them to experience Greensboro as young professionals – to get them out of their campus bubbles and into the community to see they can make an impact here.”
Greensboro is home to approximately 50,000 college students from seven colleges and universities. After graduation, students often look to move to larger cities like Washington, D.C., Atlanta, or Charlotte.
According to Tahsuda, many college students are unaware of the opportunities right here in Greensboro, with companies and organizations like Volvo Trucks, HAECO Americas, Cone Health, and Kontoor (Wrangler, Lee, Rock & Republic brands). Not to mention the high quality of life young professionals can find in the city thanks to a revitalized downtown, affordable housing, and little to no traffic.
Senior Dani Iqbal is one of those students who has rediscovered all that Greensboro has to offer thanks to the Fellows Program. He’s especially grateful for the mentorship and networking opportunities.
“I’ve made a lot of connections,” he said. “My favorite part of the program was the large VF networking event with over 250 professionals. I made a lot of friends from that event, and now I’m part of a small networking group that meets every week.”
Iqbal has been an intern with Volvo for a year now, most recently working in the aftermarket division. After he graduates in December with a degree in accounting and finance, his hope is to stay on with Volvo.
Breeana White is another senior who has made her mark this summer as an intern. A social work major, she worked at the Center for Women’s Healthcare at Cone Health’s Women’s Hospital, just a few miles from campus. White was tasked with developing a curriculum for a community pregnancy prevention program for teens. She will continue her internship throughout the school year to help implement the program.
“I believe health equity and health education promotion are very important, especially for at-risk communities, because so many of these diseases can be prevented, and lives can be saved,” she said.
After graduation, White plans to pursue a dual master’s degree in social work and public health.
What kind of success has Campus Greensboro seen so far? In terms of how students view the city, Tahsuda and her team have seen significant changes in pre-program and post-program perceptions. After completing the program, 89% of the summer 2018 fellows indicated that they have an interest in making Greensboro home post-graduation.
Many of the former fellows graduated this May or will graduate next May. While the Campus Greensboro team is still working to track where alumni of the program have landed, anecdotal evidence shows that students have found exciting careers in Greensboro and the surrounding area.
Are you interested in becoming a Campus Greensboro Fellow next summer? Campus Greensboro will start posting internship opportunities in the fall. The application deadline for summer 2020 is Feb. 17.
To learn more, visit campusgreensboro.org.
For more information about career and professional development opportunities at UNCG, visit csc.uncg.edu.
Learn more about about White, Iqbal, and the Campus Greensboro Fellows Program in the video below.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography and videography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications