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by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
During the 2019-20 winter break, more Dickinson College students took advantage of externships—those one- to 10-day visits to workplaces that offer an up-close view of professions they’re interested in—than ever before. And the college saw an even greater increase in the number of alumni, parents and friends of Dickinson who served as externship hosts.
The college offered 166 externship opportunities this year—that’s 38% more externships hosted by alumni and parents than last year's total, and 34% more overall. More than 120 students seized that chance, compared to 93 participating students one year ago, and 30% more students requested funding to help defray related travel and housing costs.
Perhaps most exciting: More than half of Dickinson’s 2019 externship hosts had never hosted Dickinsonians before, indicating a sharp increase in interest and awareness during the past year.
Sophie Kivlehan '21 served an externship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It was hosted by Research Technician Kellyn Madden '19.
Shorter than internships, externships are an integral part of the second year of the Dickinson Four program, and they’re also available to students at every stage of their undergrad careers. While they learn about different fields and career paths and fine-tune their plans, students get a feel for what it’s like to work in professional settings; they also may build professional contacts that can lead to internships and research and job opportunities down the road.
For the hosts, externships are a chance to get involved through a short-term opportunity that can make a real difference in students' lives. They also build contacts with talented young Dickinsonians.
Jordan Trief '22, Celia Carini '22 and Julianne Siecinski '21 caught a glimpse of life at JPMorgan Chase, courtesy of Shaun Lorraine '04.
Externship hosts represent the spectrum of career stages and fields. This year's hosts included presidents, founders and CEOs/CFOs and other top executives, while others included state representatives; finance professionals; doctors; lawyers; analysts; teachers; news, media and marketing gurus; educators and education administrators and entertainment execs. Young alumni also got involved, offering students a glimpse of the kinds of professional lives students can expect just a few years after graduation.
Externship sites included the following organizations:
“The continued growth in the program shows how important these one-to-one experiences are to students and to alumni,” says Annie Kondas, associate dean and director of alumni career development, who leads the externship program.
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Published January 21, 2020