Learning to Rise to the Top

On December 3, 2014, I attended a Rise to the Top workshop on the basics of Internships and Co-Ops at Villanova. The idea of getting professional experience before I actually enter the workforce when I graduate has always been important to me, and it is actually a main reason I chose to attend Villanova in the first place. I was very impressed by Villanova’s job placement, and, at the time of my visit, they said 95% of VSB grads come out of school with at least one internship. In the workshop on Wednesday, I learned that it is their goal to have 100% of students graduate with an internship from the School of Business.

That’s just one of many things I learned, though. The Co-Director of Internships in the Clay Center, whose name escapes me, led the very informative Rise to the Top workshop. She made plenty clear just how many opportunities we have to complete an internship or co-op throughout our time here at Villanova. I know I want to complete an internship of some sort by the time of graduate, but this workshop helped me explore my options. I learned that most students complete an internship during the summers before their junior or senior years. I also learned that most Study Abroad programs incorporate an international internship component. You can even earn academic credit for completing an internship! A particular program that interested me was the Spring Accounting Internship Program. Being an employee of the finance department, I am facing a decent amount of pressure to be a finance major. However, accounting interests me as well, and a program such as SAI where you can earn six elective credits during the spring of your junior year working full time for an accounting firm is a unique and valuable opportunity. Students who participate in SAI can complete 12 credits the summer after they work for the firm so they can still obtain the 150 credits, gain valuable experience, and graduate on time.

Employers favor students who come out of school with professional experience had through internships and co-ops, and VSB gives its students every opportunity to participate in one by the time they graduate. Through the Clay Center and the Career Center, it is very easy to get connected with an employer for an internship opportunity as well as develop your professional skills through resume-building workshops or mock interviews. While it may be a lofty goal to graduate all of its students with an internship, Villanova’s School of Business certainly has the resources to back up such a claim. It would be no one’s fault but my own if I did not graduate from Villanova with a professional experience of some sort. Internships are important; they give college students the chance to gain valuable workforce experience, develop professional skills, and expand their professional network. This workshop got me excited for my future as a student in VSB and beyond, and I would highly recommend Rise to the Top workshops for other students in the future.  Explore your resources at VSB and make the most of your time here!

-Chris Cardillo, VSB Class of 2018

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