By Josh McCartney

Staff Writer

Denison is one of 33 colleges across four states to receive a $300,000 Career Ready Internship Grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. 

In the past, many students were unable to explore internship and externship opportunities because they needed to spend their time holding a wage-earning job.

Tabitha Arthur ’14, the marketing manager at the Center for Career Exploration, is confident about the possibilities that will come with the program that the grant supports, saying, “This is a fantastic opportunity because it allows wage earners who might not be able to take internships because of loss a wages a chance to gain the benefits of career experience.”

President Weinberg spoke to the financial compensation stemming from the grant saying, “As we develop new opportunities for students to explore different professional pathways, we want to make sure they are equally open to all students. Hence it is important that these are paid internships.”

The college is investing a lot in the development of internships and externships across the board because of their inherent value to the student’s future. Laurel Kennedy, the Vice President of Student Development, said, “Experience tells us that when students do internships they learn what they will and won’t love to do.  This way they never spend too much time on a path that they do not want to follow.  Also, internships help them build critical skills, giving them that confidence to navigate the workplace while building strong connections with the Denison alumni network.”

The inaugural program is just around the corner in January with what Career Exploration is calling “Intern Columbus: a cohort based experience in Greater Columbus.” The cohort model, which all of the internships benefitting from this grant will follow, is based on two initial weeks of intense immersion in the business for 40 hours each week, and then seven to five hour work weeks for a grand total of a 115 hour internship.

The first opportunities will begin over break immediately preceding the fall semester. Students will partner with Forge Columbus, a community building group with a focus on investment in entrepreneurs who, as detailed by the company’s mission, “want to build a better city by providing business services, access to capital, and promotion of their community mission to a local and national audience.”

Forge Columbus is headed by Denison alumnus Reese Neader ‘10.  The Center for Career Exploration is excited to kick off the first of what is sure to be a highly successful series of internships that are all supported by the amazing new grant from Great Lakes Higher Education.

The funds from the grant are directed towards internships in the Greater Columbus area across all employment fields, an area that Denison is lucky to have so close by.

President Weinberg said, “Unlike many liberal arts colleges that are located in remote places, we have a fantastic location 25 minutes from the 15th largest city in the country. Columbus is consistently ranked as one of the emerging cities for recent college graduates.”

The largest concentration of Denison alumni in the world resides in the city just a short drive west of campus. President Weinberg is looking forward to utilizing the opportunities in Columbus as he says, “there are great work opportunities and a very high quality of life. [This grant] is one of many ways we are going to take better advantage of our proximity to Columbus.”