Office assists students in internship search

By R. Scott Lohman

With jobs being so hard to find in today’s tight economy, a little help is close at hand with the Cooperative Education office.

Cooperative Education can help students who are looking for internships or co-ops during college get a competitive edge on receiving permanent post-graduation jobs, said Mireya Pourchot, assistant program coordinator of the NIU Cooperative Education office.

Pourchot also said that “acquiring an internship is not as difficult a task as it may seem.”

Edwin Riedl, acting associate director for the Cooperative Education office, said that the office works with students to help them find career-related internships.

The Co-op Education office “uses a student’s academics, and their career aspirations” to help them find internships (usually paid) and co-ops, Riedl said.

One Co-op coordinator, Bob Huffstutler, said the office has placed students in career-related internships at such places as Disney World, the Art Institute of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Six Flags Great America.

Huffstutler added that the recession has made finding jobs and internships more difficult, but there seems to be a trend toward improvement. “Our placement numbers are up,” he said.

The Co-op office can also direct students to other resources, Riedl said.

Pourchot added that internships give students valuable “experience in their fields of study.”