As noted in both academic and professional literature, internship experience is currently among the most desired and most valuable qualities prized by nonprofits and sought by employers. On-site supervisors provide training and direction throughout the internship, and they conduct a performance review with students at the end of the internship that is also documented in a completed Performance Evaluation form. Faculty supervisors assign and evaluate journals and a formal paper that document the experience as well as require students to reflect on their experience as part of their overall personal and professional goals.
This engagement combines academic endeavor with practical experience for students and provides increased access to services and talent for organizations, municipalities, agencies, and businesses in the St. Louis area and beyond.
Internships effectively address the needs and interests of the community as well as the needs and interests of students. From a community perspective, unpaid internships offer significant potential for non-profits and other community organizations to provide services and to pursue goals and initiatives that meet community needs and to manage or overcome challenges associated limited resources and funding. Paid internships offer significant potential for local business to recruit and develop talent, and potentially to keep that talent in the metropolitan area through post-graduation employment. Both unpaid and paid internships offer students substantive opportunity for professional development, networking, career testing, and decision-making that provide a pathway to satisfaction and realization of their goals while tangibly also meeting the needs of the community.