When college graduates nationwide are vying for jobs, there is one item on their resumes that’s becoming a must-have for employers: the internship. A nationwide survey in 2015 found that 60 percent of employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant internship experience, a figure that has been climbing in recent years.
But UConn students need not worry, as the University is staying ahead of this trend and helping students take part in a wide variety of internships, says Beth Settje, associate director for career development.
“I constantly get phone calls and emails from employers saying, ‘I want to hire UConn students,’” Settje says.
UConn has become a target school for a number of big-name companies to recruit interns, including Travelers, General Electric, Aetna, Disney, and Cigna. Cigna even has its own floor in the Information Technology Engineering Building reserved for students with paid Cigna internships to work on projects with company employees on-site.
“We’ve become more of a presence,” Settje says. “Most of these companies only have the money to recruit from eight to 10 schools, and UConn is one of them.”
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the recent internship experiences of some UConn seniors who will soon be launching their careers:
Cheyenne BakerGrowing up, Cheyenne Baker ’16 (CLAS) bonded with her dad by watching sports. Now, the Montville, Conn. native and journalism major has combined that same love with another passion – television production – that’s brought her closer to the action.
Baker is a sports intern this summer at WTNH Channel 8 in New Haven, where she’s involved in every aspect of TV production, including writing scripts, editing video, and interviewing athletes. In fact, her Red Sox and Yankee game highlights appear every night on WTNH’s SportzEdge segment.
Baker’s biggest project so far has been her very own reporter’s package on the Travelers Golf Tournament earlier this summer in Cromwell, Conn. After filming her standups, interviewing players, and writing the script, Baker’s final step was to add voiceovers and edit her video footage. However, when she went to do this, she discovered that WTNH uses an entirely different editing software from the one she’s familiar with at UConn’s campus station, UCTV. So Baker had to teach herself to use the program, and she did it in just one night.
Her favorite assignment this summer was interviewing Red Sox legend Bill “The Spaceman” Lee at a charity game for former Red Sox and Yankees players hosted by the Bridgeport Bluefins.
“Bill was just so animated, so easy to talk to,” she says. “Bill was the star of the package WTNH made for the game, and they used my whole interview with him.”
Baker’s next hands-on experience will be an internship with the Jerry Springer show in Stamford this fall. Upon completing the interview for the position, she was hired on the spot. Although it won’t be sports-related, she couldn’t be happier.
“I love to do sports, but this industry is so hard to make it in, that I’m happy to do anything,” Baker says. “I just love TV production.”