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Semesters offer Ohio State students more intern opportunities

The number of employers who interviewed undergraduates in the Fisher College of Business for summer internships on campus has risen 34 percent this year with Ohio State’s switch to semesters.
“When we were on the quarter system, we were just so different than everyone else,” said Randy Dineen, internship adviser for the College of Arts and Sciences. “So if you were looking at large Fortune 500-type companies, they have a very strict, very rigid, internship program. A lot of our students were getting closed out of very meaningful internships with larger companies.”
But companies have taken notice of the switch and have been visiting and recruiting more vigorously at OSU, according to a report from the Fisher College of Business Undergraduate and Recruiting Operations Teams.
The number of employers who interviewed Fisher undergraduates increased more than 34 percent and the total number of interviews conducted increased more than 14 percent compared to fall quarter last year, according to the report.
Margaret Bogenschutz, senior director of undergraduate career management and recruitment for Fisher College of Business, said the switch to semesters allowed the college to hold its fall job fair earlier, making it easier for more businesses to attend.
“In the fall, we always had it in October and a lot of employers complained how late that was because they were already recruiting on other campuses all through September, so we’re kind of a last stop,” Bogenschutz said. “That kind of put our students at a disadvantage.”
Full-time job postings for undergraduates on FisherConnect have nearly tripled to more than 1,500 in 2012 from more than 530 in 2011, according to the report. Internship postings for Fisher undergraduates have more than doubled to more than 800 in 2012 from almost 340 in 2011, according to the report.
The report attributes the “significant increases” in job postings to becoming a part of the Buckeye Careers Network, a campus-wide database that contains job postings from individual career networks like FisherConnect, EHECareers, FutureLink, Hireabuckeye and Engineering Career Services, though Fisher’s College Office of Career Management continues to use FisherConnect as its main vendor for job postings.
Dineen also gave credit for the increase in opportunities to the Buckeye Careers Network.
“It was kind of a perfect storm because in the summer, the university as a whole created the Buckeye Careers Network. That has helped students because now students can see all the opportunities,” Dineen said. “We also have companies who have posted really for the first time ever because our calendar changed.”
Still, some companies have not seen a change in the number of OSU students interviewed or hired.
“The switch to semesters will enable OSU students to enter our internship program earlier than they did previously,” said Corey Kerr, director of public relations for Cardinal Health, in an email. “However, the switch to semesters and earlier entry to the program will not affect a student’s term of service, as all interns sign on for a 12-week rotation.”
Many OSU students weren’t available to work for 12 weeks last summer, however.
“Last summer I was still able to get an internship but I only worked for ten weeks and it was kind of weird,” said Aaron Englander, a second-year in economics, who found the internship through a personal connection.
“I think that had it been a general application the fact that I couldn’t start until June would have made it a no-go,” Englander said.
Harrison Sciulli, second-year in biology, said he wouldn’t be able to apply to internships that start in May if OSU was still on the quarter system.
“I’m pre-Med so there are a bunch of research-type opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do if we were on quarters,” Sciulli said.
For students with more job opportunities available, Bogenschutz said semesters have brought mostly positive changes, however there is a downside.
“Are students ready Sept. 5?” Bogenschutz said, referencing the day of the Fisher Fall Career Fair during last semester.
“They have to be a lot more planful, I think, than they had to be (in the past),” she said.
In previous years the fair has been held in October.
Dineen said he expects the positive momentum to continue.
“There are going to be more opportunities available now with our switch as more and more companies each year kind of get on board with our new calendar,” Dineen said. “I think those opportunities will just continue to grow.”   

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