Student Internship Rotational Program

Brief: 

The Student Internship Rotational Program allows undergraduate seniors and graduate students to receive hands-on work experience within functional areas at the university while pursuing their degrees.

The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • There is a mismatch between the skills taught at university and the skilled employers look for in prospective employees.
  • The purpose of the Student Internship Rotational Program is to provide GW students with meaningful professional opportunities that will prepare them for their careers after graduation.
Solution: 
  • Each student is paired with a project and or a department for 6 to 8 months that is centrally focused in one of the Executive Vice-President & Treasurer (EVP&T) functional areas:
    • Office of Finance
    • The Division of Operations
    • The Administration Division
    • Information Systems and Services
    • Division of Human Resources
  • Student responsibilities include assisting and managing projects with cross-functional strategic initiatives and performing general office tasks and other duties as assigned. Students commit to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • Upon the completion of a project, students may be transitioned to another 6 to 8 month project in another participating office. Applicants who can commit to at least two rotations are preferred.
  • Students work on projects that are centric to one office or multiple participating offices under one project, subject to shared interest and opportunity.
Impact: 
  • Students and staff have benefited from the programme.
  • Student testimonials:
    • Ifechukwu Nduka, in his second rotation, working with in the Division of Information Technology Project Management Office: “My experience thus far in the programme has been professionally invigorating and intellectually stimulating. Working in tandem with my mentor, I have gained a greater insight on the strategic role of project management in driving organizational performance."
    • Kristen McCarthy, on her second rotation, working in the division of Human Resources: "This programme has allowed me to learn more about GW as an institution while giving me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally in a supportive environment. The experience I gained working with Staff Learning and Development has been an invaluable part of my semester and given me the confidence to pursue my professional goals.”
Why has it worked?: 
  • The programme benefits both the university and participating students.
  • GW students gain valuable and relevant work experience through active participation with GW’s administrative divisions.
  • This programme adds value to the division of the Executive Vice-President & Treasurer (EVP&T) through student and employee shared knowledge, experience and mentored growth.
  • Students offer practical experiential knowledge to the projects that they are supporting while enhancing their in-classroom education through hands-on work experience.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 

It is necessary to prepare students with work experience to improve their employability post graduation.

Foundational Issues: 
Critical skills gaps
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 1: Collaboration within the organization
Region: 
North America
Economic and political context: 

Responsibilities for the first rotation include:

  • 20 hours per week position
  • 6 to 8 month rotations
  • Paid internship. Hourly rate is commensurate with experience and education

Qualifications include:

  • Strong professor recommendation
  • Creative, innovative approach to problem solving
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, demonstrating professionalism
  • Ability to conduct general research and writing, and preferred experience with developing business plans, and comfort able using technologies
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Advanced analytical skills, proficient in PowerPoint and Excel
  • Successful completion of a background, academic and student judicial standing check.
  • Pursuing a degree at GW
About the Author(s): 

The Business Management & Analysis Group (BMAG) oversees the Student Internship Rotational Program. BMAG functions as an internal management-consulting group comprised of professionals with experience in the academic, financial, and project management professions. BMAG supports GW departments by providing business continuity and process improvement services, financial and accounting analysis, and new service development.