Northwestern’s externship program connect students, alumni

Oliver Ortega

Northwestern students will again this year have the opportunity to connect with alumni and explore a wide variety of career choices with Northwestern’s Externship Program. NEXT matches students with alumni working in a field the students are interested in pursuing and allows students to shadow them for a day.

Students can apply for positions in health care, law, finance, consulting, journalism, advertising, public relations, entertainment and other fields, said Lauren Herpe, assistant director of career services at the Northwestern Alumni Association.

Herpe said in addition to providing students with an idea of their future career, the program, which is sponsored by the Northwestern Alumni Association and University Career Services, offers students networking opportunities.

“Students have the ability to make potentially valuable connections with an alum for a future internship or job placement,” Herpe said. “It’s also valuable because it’s a very short term commitment.”

Communication senior Greg Porper participated in NEXT his sophomore and junior years. As a sophomore he was matched up with a producer on the show Ugly Betty at ABC and shadowed him while the series finale of the show was being filmed. The next year, Porper shadowed the CBS Vice President of Marketing.

Porper, who is a Radio/Television/Film major, said his externship provided him with valuable insights into the television industry, where he wants to work.

“One thing is to hear someone preach how the industry works, but it’s another to be there and see it for yourself,” Porper said.

NEXT, which is in its tenth year at NU, was advertised to students during two info sessions held in January and in emails to undergraduate students.

Over 1,000 externships were available last year. The program includes hosts from all over the country and abroad.

Communication sophomore Iman Childs participated in NEXT last year and was matched up with a marketing officer at Adult Swim.

Childs said that although she had hoped to be involved with show production rather than with advertising, she said she can to use the connection she made when she applies for an internship with Adult Swim later this year.

Students can apply until Feb. 6, and externships take place between March 19 and April 19.

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