By Christina Napoli

Features Editor

Denison University is one of 13 universities to co-found Koru, an organization designed to prepare students for meaningful careers and to help create internship and job opportunities.

Koru holds internship programs allied with employers, such as outdoor equipment retailer REI and an online women’s retailer zulily, that provide students with valuable career skills and networking opportunities with professionals.

Other university founders include Brown, Bates, Colgate, Georgetown University and Vassar College.

Denison and the other founding partners are referred to as “The First Thirteen” on the Koru website. The site also says, “We’ve partnered with some of the best colleges and universities in the country to complement their high-quality undergraduate education with our experiential career onramp.”

Koru, however, is offered to all college students and not just students of the founding universities. It is an important program as many university students are graduating ill-equipped in basic but important skills that are extremely crucial to a successful career.

Kathleen Powell, director of career exploration and development, explains,”[Koru] is an additional way for students to leverage their skills and talents in a space that explores design thinking, data-driven decision making, hone job-ready skills such as excel, database and business communications and high-impact presentations.”

Koru was organized from the innovative idea of having the employers of real companies be the mentors of future professionals. It could be the making of a highly effective learning environment that works to mend the learning gap between a traditional college education and a meaningful career.

Laurel Kennedy, vice president of student development, said, “Koru is equally intentional about creating opportunities for students to build networks of mentors and peers, which students increasingly have to construct for themselves; fewer are inheriting from their parents.”

Companies are also looking to Koru in order to hone in on early-career talent. Both parties of employers and students will benefit from this innovative internship program.

Powell is also excited about the potential conversations that will arise out of Denison’s association with an organization like Koru. She explains, “Not only will students have the opportunity to connect with professionals in the field, but imagine the dialogue that will take place student to student. Imagine the conversations between Denison and Bates, Pomona and Colorado College. What might those conversations entail?”

During late March to early April, there will be a Koru representative on campus with more information about the program and its specifics.

Go to to learn more.

Photo courtesy of Koru’s Twitter account.