Director of professional partnerships for UO's Graduate Internship Program retires

A reception was held on Dec. 11, 2013, to celebrate Farrell Ford’s substantial contributions to the Graduate Internship Program at the University of Oregon. Ford, the program's director of professional partnerships, retires this month. She joined the Graduate Internship Program team in 2009 and has been an instrumental part of its growth and success. Under her guidance, more than 60 companies—including the Los Alamos National Laboratories, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Intel—have joined the university as industrial partners offering graduate students the opportunity to complete internships in laboratories studying semiconductors, optical materials, polymers, and bioinformatics, among other fields.

The Graduate Interview Event, now in its third year, was initially started under Ford’s guidance. This year, the program included 73 students participating in more than 300 job interviews over a two-day period. After receiving academic training, undergoing a highly structured internship and completing the year-and-a-half-long program, 90 percent of students in the Graduate Internship Program receive permanent job offers from their internship host companies.

“Through developing and expanding corporate partnerships, Ford has helped graduate students at the University of Oregon develop into professionals of the highest caliber,” said Chris Larson, senior director of the Graduate Internship Program. “Her tenacity and expertise have benefitted the program in countless ways and will be sorely missed.”

Prior to joining the Graduate Internship Program team, Ford spent more than 30 years working in human resources and recruiting departments for technology and finance companies around the country. After retiring from the University of Oregon, she says she is looking forward to traveling and experimenting with photography.