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Internships: Essential part of preparing students to launch a career

Students talking to job recruiters

Exposure to the professional work environment and the opportunity to gain real-world professional experience is invaluable to students aspiring to launch their professional career in the information technology field. School of Information Technology (IT) students are required to complete a professional practice/internship experience as a component of their academic program. A robust academic program is essential, but as former State Farm intern JD Lafayette said, “You learn plenty of theory in the classroom but until you apply what you learned in a real-world setting, you don’t really know it.”

Student talking to a job recruiterThe process of securing an internship mirrors the professional job selection process and requires considerable effort on the part of students. The School of Information Technology strives to provide effective support to students in this process by establishing and maintaining partnerships with many employers in the information technology field who actively recruit IT students. Student organizations within the school also play a major role in bringing internship opportunities to IT students.

Each fall IT students in the school’s student chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), the ISU Information Security Club, and Women in Technology host the IT Internship Fair on the Illinois State campus. The annual event brings many prestigious employers to Illinois State to participate in a career development panel discussion and recruit talented students majoring in computer science, information systems, cybersecurity, network and telecom management, computer systems technology, and business information systems.

Student talking to a job recruiterFor employers, the IT Internship Fair is an opportunity to meet 250 or more bright IT students who can provide the talent and ambition they seek to drive their organization’s IT innovation. For students, it is an opportunity to meet representatives of prestigious organizations and explore opportunities to expand their IT knowledge and professional growth. Bringing those two forces together can launch some great things!

Employers who would like to learn more about the IT student sponsored IT Internship Fair and connect with Illinois State students should contact School of IT internship coordinator Tal Parmenter.

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