Internships, once reserved for the most motivated of students, are now becoming a necessity for professional success after college.
“Internships provide the opportunity to apply insights gained from the classroom experience in the environment of a real world work setting, and then to compare that experience with peers in similar settings,” said Dean of Seaver College Rick Marrs.
For the second year, the Career Center is offering the Randall Internship Program, a competitive program that helps students seeking internships connect with community employers. The program is open to 100 students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and offers $500 transportation stipend.
According to Randall Internship Coordinator Nancy Shatzer, employers surveyed by the National Association of College and Employers report that of their new student hires, 70 percent completed at least one internship during their undergraduate studies.
In addition to the Randall Internship Program, Pepperdine also offers the Washington, D.C. Internship Program to help students get ahead in their careers.
“The more a student can have under their belt, the better off they are going to be in the future,” said Kirsten Vassie, D.C. internship program manager. “I know these days students not only need a bachelor’s degree, but also need a master’s degree, as well.”
Frank Runyeon, a 2006 alumnus, said his internship at think-tank in D.C. helped him land a job with the Council on Foreign Affairs in New York.
And Gregory Pejic, a 2006 alum, who interned at the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most competitive internship programs in Washington, said his internship offered him exciting opportunities. Through his internship, Pejic led research projects and co-authored a chapter in a book.
A former Randall program participant and 2008 alumna, Lilia Chang, said her internship helped her realize that she did not want to be a nurse.
Unlike the Randall Internship program, a new initiative, the D.C. program has garnered a reputation in the Washington community over the years.
“Pepperdine has made a name for itself inside the Beltway,” Nespoli said. “Our students are among the best interns in D.C., because they prove to have an amazing work ethic that many organizations need, but can’t find from Ivy League schools.”
Some of the top national institutions offer internships to students at Pepperdine, according to Vassie who said the White House called this year seeking additional interns.