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Methodist University’s Office of Career Services has launched a new program with several partners, called the MU Exclusive Internship Program.

The program, led by Director of Career Services, Antoinette Bellamy, was unveiled at a luncheon Oct. 25.

“This program underscores our commitment to provide every student with an internship opportunity,” said President Ben E. Hancock Jr.

Coinciding with President Hancock’s goal of creating 100 Partnerships, organizations who are in the MU Exclusive Internship Program will partner with the university to offer ex-clusive internship opportunities to MU students during the 2013 May Term. Several companies are already signed on with the program, including N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission (PWC), Spring Lake’s Mayor’s Office, U.S. Army Special Operations Command and Microbac Laboratories.

“By partnering with organizations like these, that understand the complexities of the job market and are willing to assist MU students advance professionally, the MU Exclusive Internship Program will help fulfill the university’s promise to prepare students for productive careers and lives of meaning and purpose,” Hancock said.11-14-12-methodist.gif

Bellamy said her office will work to recruit students for positions based on criteria provided by the partners, screen prospective interns and require students to meet with her staff in one-on-one sessions to prepare them for entering into a professional working environment.

“The MU Exclusive Internship Program provides students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience,” Bellamy said. “Students will be able to develop entry-level skills in a specific occupation, and practice the basic career management skills necessary to obtain, sustain and advance in their fields.”

Learning is also an aspect of internships, and students interns are expected to meet several learning outcomes, such as developing job-specific competencies, exploring their chosen career field, gaining a broader knowledge of the organization and developing their personal and interpersonal skills like communica-tion, self-confidence and assertiveness.

In their internships, students will get a 3- to 10-week experience during the summer to work at least 100 hours or longer during the regular academic year. The internships will come in many forms, part-time or full-time, and could be paid or non-paid. All of the internships will include learning objectives, observations, evaluations and assessments.

In return, the partner organizations will have the opportunity to bring new perspectives to their business, gain quality and motivated candidates for special projects, manpower to free up their normal employees for other projects and tasks and a cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential employees.

“Research shows that 60 percent of students who participate in paid internships are more engaged in projects and the organization,” Bellamy said. “Since students must be able to sustain themselves, we encourage paid internships. However, we do understand that some partners are unable to make such a financial commitment.”

Whether paid or not, Bellamy said her office encourages students to con-sider the benefits of the experience. As an additional benefit for students, the experience will be listed on the student’s co-curricular transcript.

Businesses can register as an MU Exclusive partner and post intern-ship positions online at collegecentral.com/methodistuni-versity. For more information on how to become an MU Exclusive partner, contact Antoinette Bellamy at 910.630.7257 or abel-lamy@methodist.edu.

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