UCS teams with top schools to widen student opportunities

Lauren Mogannam

From the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco to Merrill Lynch in New York City, students from eight universities will find a variety of new career opportunities as part of a newly launched internship consortium.

Northwestern has teamed up with New York University, Georgetown University, Rice University, Stanford University, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create iNET, a new collaboration that will allow students to access a wider range of college internship resources.

“Education is really important, but nothing can replace experiences outside of a school setting,” Medill freshman Grace Weitz said. “I think iNET will give as many people as possible that opportunity.”

Students can choose possible internships by major and industry and employers who wish to recruit from a wider applicant pool can do so with iNET. The service, which launched at the beginning of Winter Quarter, can be accessed with a valid Northwestern e-mail address through the Career Services Web site.

Weitz, who said she is interested in the service, thinks it is important to make connections out of one’s school community.

“iNET will be combining people from all over the nation, making a really diverse environment where there can be a lot of (professional) interaction,” she said.

In the past, finding internship opportunities away from the Chicago area has been difficult for some students.

“One of the reasons that we wanted to do it is that it gives geographical diversity for our students,” said Lonnie Dunlap, director of University Career Services. “Stanford will open up wonderful internship opportunities from the West Coast to NU students.”

The consortium came about easily because the eight universities use the same search engine, Simplicity, Dunlap said.

Weinberg sophomore Daniel Jonas said he searched for an internship on his own this year because he was unsuccessful last year. According to Jonas, CareerCat, NU’s own system for finding internship and employment opportunities, did not provide what he needed.

“I wanted something in Phoenix and CareerCat didn’t have what I needed in Arizona,” he said.

According to Dunlap, with universities participating from all regions of the country, students will have more options for the summer. On iNET, there are internships across all academic areas in a full range of industries from coast to coast, she said.

Kenny Chandrasekera, a Yale student, said he thinks the consortium will be a great addition to Yale’s private internship program.

“It is a good opportunity for those students who don’t have the resources to spend a summer away from home,” the freshman biomedical engineer said. “If a student from California is on the east coast, but needs an internship near home, Stanford’s participation will give that student that many more options.”

Although participation in the program is still small, Dunlap said she is hopeful that students will now be able to find internships that fit all of their criteria.

“Most employers who post (on iNET) are connected with these schools,” Dunlap said. “So with a greater range of employers, Northwestern students will see new listings that they wouldn’t normally see.”

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