By Michael Bueno & James Macey – Opinion Editor & 1851 Staff
Last month, U.S. News ranked colleges with high internship completion rates and found Lasell in the top 10. Lasell’s completion rate is 100%.
According to the article, more than 1,800 colleges and universities were surveyed. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found students with internships have a higher chance of being employed upon graduation.
Lasell is tied with six other schools that require all their students to participate in internships. The internship program is a way of getting students the professional experience they need to succeed in their careers post-graduation.
For many incoming students, the idea of a required internship may be foreign, but becomes familiar as their college career advances. Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission Jill Reitzell said, “We definitely have an impressive list [of internship partnerships] that’s always growing, and with prospective students, when you give them those names [of partnerships], their eyes light up.”
“Most colleges offer students an opportunity to do internships, but Lasell builds it into every major and requires students to complete it,” said Reitzell. “It’s really well executed and it’s not something you’ll find at other schools. I think we’re very well deserving of that national recognition because it’s very unique the way we do it.”
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Nicole Rothman is happy with the recognition. “I think it’s really awesome, especially on the recruiting aspect of it… To be able to go and tell prospective students that you will be able to get into an internship and do well in them,” Rothman said, “is a really nice selling point for me, and makes my job a lot easier.” She went on to say that she always has ‘talking points’ when going out to recruit new students into the institution.
When it comes to students, Lasell has made it a priority to assist in searching for internships. “I was talking to a mother recently and she told me she appreciates all the hard work I’ve given her and her family,” Rothman said.
The internship program at Lasell has grown dramatically over the years and it has managed to create a friendlier environment overall. “It sets us apart because we require students to do it,” Rothman said. “I remember when I was in high school and college, you got one internship by junior year and maybe it would help you. Now you need three or four internships just to get your foot in the door.”
“It’s going to be a professional experience relating to your field of study,” said Reitzell. She also said that receiving the third-party recognition only brings positive benefits to Lasell, which managed to stick out from its competition and continue to break the small school stereotype.