Although summertime won’t arrive for several months, college students who want to find something meaningful to do during their three-month hiatus from school are already beginning their searches. In Louisville, the answer might be a summer internship at a Jewish agency. For the eleventh year, at least two two-month internship for Jewish students from the Louisville area who have completed at least one year of college (either in or out of state) are available at local Jewish agencies.
These are paying positions that will be tailored to meet the career development needs of the selected candidates. According to Ellen Shapira, JFCS vocational/career services supervisor, depending on the particular agency’s agenda, interns may work in the areas of general business, computers, marketing, public relations, computers, fund development, accounting, communication, Jewish communal service or social research. Organized activities within the Jewish community, career-directed programs and meetings with selected community leaders and networking opportunities beyond the Jewish community are all part of the package.
“We look to help the interns develop more professional relationships and ties to Louisville in the future,” says Shapira. “I also continue to work with former interns over the long haul and help them with resumes, job searches and such after college graduation and beyond.” Several former interns have returned to Louisville to pursue careers after college – one of them as a Jewish communal professional. For others, the experience has strengthened their lifelong commitment to Judaism.
Those selected to participate will likely begin working in early June, but the schedule could be modified to accommodate a particular student’s school schedule. Selection will be based on the student’s academic background, experiences and quality of the application.
Summer internships are valuable in allowing students to get hands-on know-how that will be helpful to them in making career decisions. This win-win program will benefit both the Jewish community and the participants – now and in the future. Agency cooperation, economic opportunity and molding a wellspring of young talent are just a few of the advantages of this unique partnership.
The internships offer students the opportunity to enhance their skills and gives the local Jewish agencies involved the chance to demonstrate why Louisville is such a great place in which to live and work.
It is hardly all work and no play for the interns though. They also have the chance to socialize with other student interns from around the city and to visit local attractions. Organizers of the program feel that a positive summer experience might prompt a student to decide to come back to (or remain in) Louisville after graduation. Just think of the potential; population growth for the Jewish community and an added source of talent for the area-wide job market.
To request an internship application, call JFCS at 452-6341. Applications must be submitted by April 15, and students may indicate the particular agency with which they would like to work. For further information about the program, please contact Ellen Shapira at JFCS, ext. 225.