Internship Fair Offers Students Wide Opportunities

This semester’s internship fair went down on Santa Monica College’s main quad on Tuesday, May 22, with 80 employers, including non-profits, offering a wide range of work experience. Internships offered could be accepted for school credit, but some pay hourly wages.

At SMC’s Career Services Center booth, Faculty Leader and fair coordinator Vicki Rothman and staff offered students how-to-intern flyers and awarded free swag bags and t-shirts to students who visited three fair booths and reported back on their experiences. “If you’ve gotten a card from a rep at the fair, call or email them immediately, and let them know it was great to meet them, and send them your resume," Rothman said. "After that, leave it up to the employer to get back to you.”

To get a goodie bag, SMC biology student Adriana Lopez applied for a paid summer internship with SEALab, and if hired, would work with kids and the public. Her friend Nancy Sanchez applied to Heal the Bay, where she learned that California pipelines often run under the San Andreas fault, and could be damaged in a major earthquake.

Rothman said that before or after landing an intern position, students must attend a career services orientation session to start the credit process. Most SMC departments offer an internship class specific to their majors, but there is also a general counseling internship course that can be tailored via career services to fit any student’s major.

There’s also an online internship class on SMC’s school portal, which awards one unit of credit per 60 hours of unpaid intern work, or one unit per 75 hours of paid interning.

Participants must be students in good standing at SMC, such as having six SMC units in the past fall or spring semester, with an average grade of 'C' or better. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, including students returning to SMC after a brief hiatus.

Participating companies and non-profits at the fair showcased a spectrum of work opportunities, from radio stations, hospitals, tech, and even small, local manufacturers.

Greeting students near the library were KJLH radio. The station, owned for over 50 years by Stevie Wonder, offers both summer and fall internships, and a line of enthusiastic students queued to sign up. Summer staff often accompany and help DJs at community events, while fall interns often focus on corporate tasks, from office work to commercial sound editing.

SMC alumnus Alicia Dunams sought interns from office and marketing staff to social media workers and travel coordinators for her burgeoning publishing and leadership training business.

A complete list of participants, including contact details, can be found at the SMC Career Counseling office or by contacting Internship Coordinator Lisa Moss at 310-434-4337.