Finding A Pot of Gold For Internship Students
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Finding A Pot of Gold For Internship Students

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Presentation at the 2009 ACPA National Convention, focused on the Sears Internship Endowment funding mechanism at Hampden-Sydney College

Presentation at the 2009 ACPA National Convention, focused on the Sears Internship Endowment funding mechanism at Hampden-Sydney College

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  • Welcome! I’m Laura Neidert, and I’m so glad that you are here today. Thank you so much for coming, and as you think of questions, please hold them until the end of the presentation. <br /> I’m a young career development professional in the middle of my second year at Hampden-Sydney, a small, all male liberal arts college in central VA. For your “cocktail party facts”, we’re one of three four year all male schools. Does anyone know the other two? <br /> In the name of trivia, I’d like to offer a few trivia questions as an icebreaker, and winners will receive granola bars to keep them going through the lunch period. Since I’m coming from Virginia, that’s what our trivia will focus on, with no particular rhyme or reason. Anyone who gives an answer I would like you to introduce yourself (name title institution) and share why you’re here in this session. (do you have a program like this, do you want one, are you just curious?) <br /> Name all the presidents born in Virginia (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, and Wilson.) <br /> How many times has the Rotunda at Uva been built? (including the current version, 3.) <br /> Name the state drink: milk. <br /> Which of the Presidents I mentioned earlier is NOT a signatory on the Declaration of Independence? <br /> A: Monroe <br /> B: Jefferson <br /> C: Washington (Right Answer) <br /> D: Madison <br /> 5. There is a festival in Virginia to celebrate garlic, true or false. (True). <br />
  • I think this graphic from the NY Times pretty much says a lot when it comes to the real and perceived benefits of unpaid or very low paying internships. They are what you make them, but too often our students are shut out from even considering them because of logistics. And it’s hard to convince students that it’s worth trying when all’s they see is the sticker price. <br /> Transition: Does anyone want to try to apply numbers to this equation? Bueller? <br />
  • We need to talk about student internship stipends today because we are all looking for ways to assist our students in regard to internships. President Barack Obama tells us that “yes we can.” But our students are increasingly hearing “no you can’t” because the internships they want carry a hefty price tag, and the availability of financial support from other sources is rapidly decreasing. We know that internships can make a big difference for students. H-SC has developed a method to assist , and while we’re a small school, hopefully you can see how we’ve made a difference for our students. <br /> By the time you leave, I’d like to you know: <br /> how H-SC developed the Sears Endowment for Student Internships <br /> how H-SC students currently use the money <br /> how you can begin to build a fruitful relationship with your development office <br /> Transition: To begin, let me break down our program for you. <br />
  • What does Hampden-Sydney College do with the money they have? <br />
  • In the year 2000, Buford and Burn Sears started an endowed fund in memory of their father, Roy B. Sears ‘42. While Burn and Buford did not attend H-SC themselves, they did feel that internship support was vital. This was a unique gift at the time for the college. <br /> While it took some time for the gift to mature, we’ve been able to grow the program over the past 9 years. Since 2001-02, we’ve given out more than $91,000 in student support. Our students have interned with the Department of Homeland Security, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Raymond James, as well as internationally for White & Case LLP in Hong Kong. <br /> Transition: Next, let’s look at the nuts and bolts of the program. <br />
  • Specifically, we’ve had anywhere between $11,000 and $12,000 to give out each year. We’ve assisted on average 18 students every year. Since I’ve come onboard in 2007, we’ve had an increase in applications (23) and a decrease in applications (14), but my thought is that in 2009 we’ll be a lot closer to 23 if not exceeding that. <br /> Transition: I also want to mention some other factors influencing student interest in the program and participation. <br />
  • As a private school, we carry a high sticker price, and our financial aid figures reflect this. Currently, our total sticker price is $39,029, and we’re looking at a 4.4.% increase in tuition and a 5% increase in fees for next year. Currently, 97.1% of students are receiving College administered financial aid, and the average need is $28,771. But we obviously don’t come close to meeting that. <br /> Also, we’ve seen a strong push from employers to have their prospective interns apply. Last year, I had a student apply who was clearly coerced into applying, because he wasn’t prepared at all. I’ve already discussed with NMFN in the fall/early spring about student stipend support, and have seen alumni employers strongly encourage their students to apply. <br /> And in the interest of sympathizing with everyone’s decreased budgets, I wanted to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with. We’ll likely have $2000 less of funding for Sears Internships this year, as a result of a 3.7% drop in the value of our endowment, and our unspent $ in our budget have been frozen. <br /> Transition: for your reference, here is a listing of other liberal arts schools that have these type of programs available. <br />
  • This listing is based upon my research into our peer and aspirant schools to H-SC, so they are mostly in the Mid-Atlantic or Southeast regions. I don’t happen to have anyone in the audience from any of these schools, do I? If I do, would you be willing to share how much money you give away to students, and how many students you assist? If not, that’s fine too. <br /> Talk about Randolph-Macon <br /> I spoke with Randolph-Macon College, our archrival in many ways. But they, like us, do have internship funding for a variety of student experiences. While they have more funds to work with, all these internships share a criteria of being at least 300 hours of work experience. Most students are completing internships in R-MC’s 4 week January term, where they receive credit but no pay. In the past or currently, they have had funding to support students seeking public service opportunities, pursuing ministerial opportunities, working with local and regional employers in Richmond, and sending students on study abroad opportunities. In many cases R-MC is working directly with the employer to screen students for the opportunity. <br /> In terms of follow up, they ask students to journal daily and turn in reports weekly, which is pretty standard stuff. They use Survey Monkey for employer assessments, and that has been successful for them. <br /> Transition: Now let’s move onto the fun part-meeting my very unique and colorful students. <br />
  • Here is some good news-you’ll see how this money impacts our students, and how they use it. In this part of the presentation, I want to bring our students to life! As you’ll see in the coming slides, our students are a unique bunch, and they do some pretty amazing things. <br />
  • We’re the 10th oldest college in the country, created in Nov. 1775 and have been continuously operating since then. We count presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and Stephen Colbert among our alumni ranks. (No joke). We have always been about “educating good men and good citizens” in a sound liberal arts tradition, and that has remained consistent over time. We have no business, education, or healthcare majors. We currently have a student population of 1,122, and a third of that has visited our office at least once in the 2007-08 academic year. Another interesting point: our Latin Motto inscribed on the college gates is roughly translated as “Come Here As Youths So That You May Leave As Men”. And trust me, they do leave as men. <br /> The vast majority of our students come from Virginia, followed by other southeastern states. The most popular majors are Economics, History, Biology, and Political Science, and as you might expect, that’s where a lot of our internship interests fall. Many, many students are interested in banking, finance, going to Wall St. (before the economy tanked), working on the Hill, and working in the legal field. You’ll meet some of these students later in the presentation. <br /> Last year, we had approximately 90 students complete internships during the summer. After graduation, about a third of the class goes directly into the workforce, and the next most popular option is graduate school, most often in business or law. <br /> Transition: Now that I’ve told you plenty about my students, let me show you them, and our campus through videos and photos. <br />
  • My student worker was nice enough to share the bottom photo with me, and the top photo came from our job fair last year. Our students are a tight knit bunch, and they definitely love the outdoors. Many of our students are avid hunters and fishermen-I once ran into two of them in Wal-Mart gathering supplies to roast a duck they had shot that morning! (Instead of buying beer I suppose). <br />
  • The other beauty of our campus is that most student activities are self organized and self directed, and that’s how the students like it, thank you very much. This is a group of guys that have formed a singing group called the “Acousticals”. One of my other student workers is a part of this group. They organized earlier this year and are quite popular. They’ve toured to other colleges and even to The Greenbriar, as you can see here. And you can become their fan on Facebook of course! What’s nice about The Acousticals is that they span all class years and all very different kinds of guys. <br />
  • As you enjoy the following video, I do want to let you know what these students will be doing this summer <br /> William is working towards securing an internship in the U.S. Senate. <br /> Fitz will be graduating and taking an analyst role with PNC Bank. <br /> Ivo will also be graduating and is pursuing a variety of opportunities. He’s been interviewing for postgraduate fellowships and jobs. <br /> Transition: I set up a series of interviews with these students so you could hear from them first hand about the impact of a great internship. <br />
  • The vast majority of students don’t complete internships for credit, so we can’t enforce as many consequences on them. But, these “Day In The Life” stories (click link) do a lot of good publicity for our office. We post them on our website, and they’re a great content feed to the front page of the college website. Anecdotally, we’ve seen from parents of prospective students that they read these stories and they spark a lot of awareness of internships. Let’s take a look at some of the additional ones. (Highlight Chetan and Mike?) <br /> I conducted three site visits this summer in DC to Capital Hill and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Later, I made four visits to students in Richmond who were working at a wealth management firm, several insurance firms, and Target. I also visited with a student who was conducting physics research on campus. <br /> They were extremely beneficial for me to see our students’ professionalism on display, and to view the contributions that our students were making. They also showed our employers that we have a close relationship with our students, even if they aren’t directly earning credit from our office. I had conference calls with two additional students who were conducting research at St. Jude’s Hospital and Stony Brook University as well. Those were a little bit more difficult due to the nature of the research they were conducting-it’s hard for me to understand the design of drugs and components of chemistry atoms when I’m not there to see how it all fits together. But it was quite useful nonetheless to hear about my students’ success in the lab with advanced colleagues. <br /> Transition: But there are always some things that could be improved, so let me share my thoughts with you on that. <br />
  • For example, we also ask students to commit to a academic year program to showcase their internship-I’ve planned panel discussions, and plan on moving to a poster session for next fall. I also did away with an “Internship Certificate Program” because it just didn’t have any relevance for students. It provided recognition from our office for the internship, but since we can’t award credit through our office, it didn’t mean much. Plus, it wasn’t something that employers were seeming to demand. <br /> But, I spend far too much time trying to get students to complete short evaluations and the “Day In The Life” stories because I have no bargaining chips, so to speak. Some students are motivated to take this seriously, but others are not. So I struggle with making this learning experience meaningful for them. <br /> As a result, I’m definitely looking to formalize the program and streamline my deadlines, for my sanity and for my students. I’m definitely going to be more proactive with my programming and plan on having more than one internship program during the academic year. <br /> Transition: Now I’d like to encourage you that “Yes You Can” build a better relationship with your development team, and one day have a stipend fund of your own! <br />
  • We closed our capital campaign recently, raising over $100 million dollars. While the bulk of that went to several major construction projects, internships were designated as a fundraising priority. Let me show you the results of our campaign (click over to web). <br /> The Chi Phi and Robison funds are two internship funds that were established as a part of this campaign push. Neither fund has matured enough to be usable by our office yet. The Chi Phi fund will probably mature first, and will function much like the Sears Endowment, with the exception that members of the Chi Phi Fraternity will receive preference in consideration. If no Chi Phi members apply for the fund, other students with fraternity membership will be considered. The Robison fund is still currently in the pledge fulfillment stage. <br /> Transition: One crucial step to make before you start getting to know your development team better-get your data in order. <br />
  • As a small school, we track our internships in a much more personal way-in the lunchroom, in line for coffee, and via Facebook. We are a recent convert to Symplicity, so I’m currently working to master the placement features. We do repeated e-mails and phone calls to gather internship information, but since students aren’t required to report internships to us, many times we learn about them when they come back to campus and need to update their resumes. <br /> Transition: Being a part of a small school allows me to know most of the people on my campus personally, including my development team. Do you feel like you know your development staff well? (wait for responses) I aim to help you improve that relationship by the time you leave this session. <br />
  • I spoke with a variety of fundraisers on this topic, and here are some of their current concerns: <br /> “keeping a clear focus on what is really important in our current climate. The fundamentals don&apos;t change, even during recessions.” <br /> “Getting organizations we work with to recognize that creating sustainable models of development is key and that there are no quick fixes-- say thank you and do not forget those who may not be able to assist today financially but can in the future--- <br /> It is very complicated to work in an environment where everyone is acting and thinking in panic/reactive mode because of the challenges in the environment.” <br /> “What is a cost effective way to secure funds in these cash strapped times? How can I persuade donors that a donation to charity is a worthwhile thing to do with their cash, when other personal needs may seem more pressing?” <br /> Based on my exploring, your greatest assistance to a development officer can be in providing accurate and useful information. Since we’re both on the “caboose end” of the college experience in many ways, a closer working relationship seems like a natural idea. Our successful students now can be very grateful donors later. <br /> Transition: Let’s go over some specific tactics that you can employ with your development team. <br />
  • First, of course, be sure you know who your contact is. Do you have a centralized development office on campus? Or do you have a development officer assigned to each academic unit on campus? <br /> One easy way to provide useful information is to “code” student names who have secured valuable opportunities through your office. In our case, we are currently working through our records to develop a master list of Sears recipients. That way, our development team can target these alumni more appropriately. By “coding”, I mean that your development team can update each alumni record in their database with this additional point of information. You may recognize students who complete certain types of internships, students who secure opportunities with alumni-it’s up to you. <br /> Secondly, I’ve provided success stories to our development team as they’ve gone out on calls. When they can speak authoritatively about current campus happenings, it makes it that much easier for the donor to say “Yes I Will.” <br /> Next, I want to ask you if you have a go-to list of employers and alumni you involve in your events? (If you don’t, I’m surprised!) Why not consider sharing those names with your development team? This way, they can begin to understand some trends and make their targeting more effective. If you have a significant alumni population at an organization, it opens up a lot of potential for matching gifts, or to involve the organization as a whole in college events. And if you consistently have a group of alumni participating in your campus events, they obviously care about career development, right? They would be a logical candidate to back up their donation of time with a donation of money. Each department wants to have the right people on their radar screens. <br /> I’ve also provided lots of background information to our development team on internships. After all, this isn’t their realm, it’s ours, right? The information I provided focused around why additional funding support matters to students, the growing importance of internships, and the struggles in finding the right opportunity. Again it’s all aimed towards helping our development team be more successful in their calls. <br /> Transition: And the suggestions don’t stop here. <br />
  • Some additional suggestions I gathered from my network: <br /> Annual Fund Support: While Annual Fund support helps keep the lights on and the buildings cool during the summer, perhaps internships could be another annual fund designation option? <br /> Corporate and Foundation Relations Representatives: At a small school like mine, these people have the subscriptions to resources and the knowledge you need to know about seeking additional funding. While they may have a lot of policies and procedures in place, they can have a great deal of knowledge about funding mechanisms and the organizations most likely to support your institution. <br /> Alumni communications: Why not work with the editor to develop a series of stories on the impact of internships among current students and alumni? You have both hard copy and online communications options, so decide what’s most effective for you. I know that for us, one of the major reasons why we still publish a hard copy magazine is the class notes section-so why not recognize notable internships there? With the development of closed alumni online social communities, this allows for outreach to a much larger audience than you may otherwise have access to. Work with your development team to help create and manage the career section of the community and provide some strong content about internships for that area. Our alumni community has been a very helpful tool for me in just identifying alumni who could be participating in our events and activities. <br /> Transition: But one thing that we have to take care of is stewardship! <br />
  • Stewardship, or cultivation, is the act of letting these important donors know that we care, and it’s not something that is just the responsibility of your development staff. Really, when you think about it, this should come naturally to us in career development. We’re always trying to manage relationships, be that with students, faculty, staff, employers, or alumni, and we generally want people to feel they matter when they interact with our offices. Your actions to recognize those who contribute time, talent, or treasure play a role in those donors feeling valued by your institution. <br /> Some of the things we do for stewardship purposes include: <br /> Tracking volunteer involvement in office activities. This can include: participation in our etiquette dinner, alumni career expo, online mentor program, career field trips, and providing job or internship opportunities for students. This information goes into our annual honor roll of donors which is then distributed among the College community. I have a copy up here if you want to take a look at it. <br /> Create a book of Sears Profiles for Burn and Buford Sears: We replicate the “Day In The Life” stories along with photos, and bind them into a professional book. We also continue to add to a scrapbook that we keep in our office on the Sears Interns. <br /> Other things we could do: <br /> Developing new things to highlight the work the Sears Students are doing-perhaps using web 2.0 technology. <br /> Sharing this information better across numerous college outlets. <br /> Gathering past Sears recipients on campus for an event. <br /> Transition: Now it’s discussion time! <br />
  • I’d like everyone to separate into groups of three, based around these criteria: (if possible) <br /> 1 person from a school of 5000 students and under. <br /> 1 person from a school of 5000-10,000 students. <br /> 1 person from a school of more than 10,000 students. <br /> As you’ve had questions come to mind, I’d also like you to bring those up in your group, and learn how others are tackling this problem. We will be sharing the answers, and great answers get unique prizes! <br /> One last question though: What do you need to do next to advance this at your institution? And I would like some feedback from the audience! <br /> Pair large school people with small school people, if applicable. <br /> Here is where I might distribute a bibliography? <br />


  • 1. Finding A Pot of Gold For Internship Students Laura Neidert Hampden-Sydney College March 31, 2009
  • 2. The facts of internships
  • 3. The situation for students Students are caught in the middle: no income, but a potentially game changing internship. Harder to get other types of financial support. What you’ll learn today.
  • 5. How Did The Program Start? Donation Was made in 2000. an unexpected gift (and those are the best kind!)
  • 6. Program History and Trends How much money have we had to award each year? Applicant Future trends. dreams and aspirations.
  • 7. Other Considerations…. Financial aid need at H-SC. Employers becoming increasingly interested in funding. The vanishing $2000.
  • 8. Stipend Schools Randolph College Hollins University Dickinson College Sewanee Wabash College Franklin and Marshall College Carleton College Hiram College Randolph-Macon College Washington and Jefferson College Denison University
  • 10. Background on H-SC Students Old and traditional College Student Career How demographics fields of interest many students complete internships?
  • 11. But they do clean up very well for job fairs, thankfully. They sometimes do silly things…like go out on not very frozen lakes.
  • 12. Meet My Students Interviews with 3 Sears recipients. ◦ William Pace, Junior ◦ Fitz Robertson, Senior ◦ Ivo Gyurovski, Senior ◦ You’ll learn more about their internships and the importance of the Sears Internship Stipends.
  • 13. How does H-SC benefit? Day In The Life Stories Site Visits Conference Calls
  • 14. Opportunities and Challenges Opportunity: complete control over the program. Challenge: limited participation in evaluations. Future plans.
  • 16. What is H-SC doing for future internship stipend funds? Past campaign priority ◦ Web Link Chi Phi and Robison Funds
  • 17. Basic data tracking strategies • Placement forms in Symplicity CSM system. • Excel • Outreach to coaches and faculty. • Repeated outreach to students. • Still don’t gather all internships.
  • 18. Getting to know your development officer What How are they concerned with? can you be of greatest assistance?
  • 19. Easy things to do for your fundraiser Designate high achievers. Provide success stories (especially in this economy!) Share employer and alumni contacts. Research assistance
  • 20. More suggestions from the front lines Designation as annual fund support. Work closely with corporate and foundation relations representatives. Outreach through alumni channels: magazines, online communities, mailings, etc.
  • 21. Stewardship Why our actions matter as well. What does H-SC do in this regard? What other things could we do?
  • 22. Dreaming Big Are internships on the radar of development? Why or why not? What would it take to get them there if they are not? If they are there, how can you enhance your program? Where could internship stipends help your students the most?
  • 23. Thank you very much! How to contact me with questions: Laura Neidert Hampden-Sydney College (434) 223-6105 Welcoming connections on LinkedIn!