It’s no accident the University of Oregon Graduate Internship Program sees a success rate that is well above the national average. A 54-credit blend of real-world training and graduate level instruction, the program emphasizes professional development and connects students with industrial employers seeking young talent.
After receiving academic training, undergoing a highly structured internship and completing the year-and-a-half-long program, 90 percent of students receive permanent job offers from their internship host companies.
"The metric by which we measure success is jobs," says Senior Director Christ Larson, explaining how the program achieves a placement rate that is significantly higher than the national average of 67.7 percent reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
A key element of the program was on display Sept. 11-12 at the Graduate Internship Program Interview Event, where 73 students took part in more than 300 job interviews, each of them lasting 45 minutes. The interviews are the gateway to the program’s paid internships, which for many students transform into jobs with the same employers.
“When our students arrive here for their interviews, they are speaking the same language as their potential employer,” Larson added.
That was true for Mandy Cameron, a first-year student in the organic synthesis and process development program track who is aiming for a career in the pharmaceutical industry with a strong interest in lean manufacturing. She participated in eight internship interviews over the course of the two-day matchmaking event and planned to conduct additional phone interviews with companies from the East Coast.
“I definitely feel really well-polished professionally,” she said. “I feel well-equipped to go through the interview process and be successful in my internship.”
Preliminary results suggest the Interview Event was a success. Between the Interview Event and the phone interviews with companies that couldn’t make it to campus, around 400 interviews took place. Within one week, students had received a total of 48 offers, 20 of which were accepted. Cameron received an offer from Bend Research, where she will begin working after fall term.