The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the editor: Spring externships offer valuable opportunities

Unsure what your major will be? Know your major but unsure what to do with it? Just want an edge into the career world and to get some networking experience? Want to meet some fabulous alumni and see what it’s like coming from a liberal arts college into the career world? Considering graduate school but not sure if it’s worth it for a career you have in mind? Check out the Spring Break Externship Program.

If you are looking for something interesting to do during the coming spring break, do not forget to put the Spring Break Externship Program onto your list. This program connects college students, especially first and second-years, with alumni for three to five day job shadowing and informational interviews. It’s a great experience for students who are unsure what they want to do or could do with their degrees, and a way of just “testing the waters” with a career path. It helps you figure out if that job path is something that you can love, or something that just isn’t for you in a short time commitment. You also get to experience how that alumna/us is living out work-life balance.

Here’s what past externs have to say:

“I came to Grinnell having no idea what I want to do. I wasn’t sure what major I would be in or what I’d do post-Grinnell,” said Sydney McClendon ’16, “and this is just a great way to explore the options out there that I hadn’t thought about.”

“Externships are an easy, low-risk and affordable way for me to explore a new interest,” said Opeyemi Awe ’15.

“Even if after five days you said you were totally bored, it’s not a waste of time,” said Strahinja Matejic ’17, “If you understand that job is not for you, you can reschedule your career path and future plan.”

“The externship shows that you have taken initiative to prepare yourself for your career,” said Clark Fancher ’15.

“The externships will show you how valuable certain skills such as critical thinking and communicating, skills that Grinnell excels at, will be,” said Paulina Campbell ’16.

This semester we have some great alumni that you can job shadow and have a home stay with. Not only are our externship hosts across the nation, but they’re across the world—this year you can stay with alumni in England, China, Peru and Micronesia. The opportunities range from Doctors and Surgeons to Technology Startups to Research Positions to the SEC. There are alumni who teach, alumni who lead and alumni who are idea makers across the United States and the world who want you to experience what they do for a living. These are Grinnellians—they know what it’s like going from a liberal arts college into the career world. This is an experience and opportunity you will not find anywhere else.

There’s nothing to lose from applying and there is financial support for those in need for travel. The application is due Sunday, February 1 at midnight and can be found on the Opportunities tab of the CLS website []. Check the site to find out what materials are required. Finally, if you have time today (Friday, Jan. 30), feel free to drop by the CLS to have your short essay questions and resume reviewed before applying! Hope to see your application soon and wishing you the best as you figure out your spring break plans!

The Student Extern Leadership Team

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