“We have to have in-class experience, so this 14 week internship is required because it’s what we’re going to be doing for the rest of our lives,” Hurt said.
Nationally, internships have become the biggest strategy for hiring new employees.
Sixty percent of companies say they will be hiring interns, according to the 2010-2011 Recruiting Trends poll by Michigan University and the Collegiate Employment Research Institute.
Many colleges provide class credit for internships, but most of them come with a price. In the past year, 240 Flagler College students have taken internships this way, and all have had to pay a 50 dollar fee to the business office in order to be counted for credit.
“It’s an administrative cost to help those professors who keep up with the students, kind of like a lab fee,” said Christine Wages, director of student accounts.
For education majors, a stipend to the teacher is added to the students tuition cost. Depending on which county the student goes to, the payment may just be given to the school.
“It’s something that she gets just to facilitate me with her classroom and her knowledge because a lot of teachers have a hard time giving up the classrooms,” Hurt said.
“A lot of students want that [internships] to count for hours so they’re not trying to do an internship and take 15 hours,” said Dr. Tracy Halcomb, chair of the communications department.
In the communication department, internships are handled almost the same way as the education department. Dr. Halcomb helps her students with the process and paperwork to get the credit but it’s up to the student to find an internship, complete it, and hand in all the necessary paperwork at the end.
“We used to be able to boast the half of our interns got hired. Since the economy, I’d say 20 percent of our interns get hired now,” Halcomb said.
Because of the still recovering economy, many of her students have had to settle with unpaid internships. When asked how many companies actually hired interns in the past year, the same poll reported that only 35 percent of them did.
“I love my kids. For the most part, their behavior is phenomenal and they respect my authority,” Kurt said.
Hurt chose Ketterlinus Elementary in hopes of being hired after graduation. He always liked the atmosphere and attitude of the school, and his time as an intern has enhanced his positive feelings even more.