UWEC holds 10th annual Internship Mania

Story by Nick Gourdoux

With the unemployment rate sitting at 9.7 percent in the month of January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs and life after graduation are quickly moving to the forefront of the minds to college students.

“I assume that if I can get an internship that it will be a great experience,” sophomore Adam Schlecht said. “And then I could possibly turn it into a career.”

On Wednesday, Schlecht attended UW-Eau Claire Career Services’ 10th annual Internship Mania for the first time in an attempt to get that increasingly-important internship. The five-hour meet-and-greet held in Davies Center brought together roughly 100 intern-seeking employers and 1,000 employment-seeking students.

Internships, both paid and unpaid, are great opportunities for students to not only gain experience, but to also increase their chances of finding a job after graduation — an idea that has been backed up by research done by Career Services, too.

“. Students are realizing how advantageous it is to have an internship early,” said Career Services’ Jessica Witte, who also helped plan Internship Mania. “We know, from research that we’ve done in our office, that 69 percent of new hires come from intern pools, which means they’re hiring them as interns and then hiring them (full time) down the road.”

The companies that come to Internship Mania are largely based in the Wisconsin and Minnesota areas, but some do come from other parts of the Midwest. While some of the internships the companies offer are related to specific majors, the majority of the employers are seeking students from any major, something Witte attributes to the fact that UW-Eau Claire is a liberal arts college.

“I think it’s a misconception among students, but most of our employers are looking for all majors,” she said. “Some are very specific – you have to be an accounting major to get an accounting internship – but for the most part the majority of the employers from Internship Mania will hire any of our students.”

For students looking to wow potential employers, or just looking to do a little research on the companies that were present at Internship Mania, Career Services offers a number of different options. On Feb. 5, Career Services held an Internship Mania prep day in their office to help any interested students. In addition to looking for potential interns, Witte said some companies are looking for full-time employment and accept resumes from students on the verge of graduation.

“Internships have been getting more competitive, so we have been offering more events prior to Internship Mania,” Witte said. “If students didn’t make it to Internship Mania, they can come to Career Services where we have all of the available internships online.”

Additionally, Career Services also offers resume reviews with Career Associates and practice interviews – appointments for both of which can be made by calling Career Services at (715) 836-2282.