Internships and mentor programs are some of the best ways to get hands-on work experience while you are still in college. They provide valuable opportunities to build up your resume and gain marketable skills while networking with professionals in your field. Below are just some of the many programs geared to minority students:
Hispanic Association of College and Universities (HACU)
The National Internship Program places currently enrolled college students in paid 10- and 15-week internships with either federal agencies or corporations. Students are matched with employers based on their interests and major. Corporate internships are located throughout the country, but federal internships are usually based in Washington, D.C. Interns are paid between $440 and $540 a week, depending on year in school and other factors. In the past, participating organizations have included: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Reserve Board, Goldman, Sachs & Co., McDonald's, Marriott, Target, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase and Shell Chemical.
INROADS places talented minority youth in business and industry positions that will prepare them for corporate and community leadership. Participants must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 throughout the program's duration. INROADS combines two to four summers of work experience - depending on the student's year in school - with year-round academic instruction, training and guidance. Students are assigned a professional mentor and receive a small salary. In addition, many interns receive job offers from their sponsor company upon college graduation. Companies that have sponsored students in the past include: Ernst & Young, IBM, Merrill Lynch, General Motors, General Electric, Lucent Technologies and Boeing.
Management Leadership for Tomorrow
MLT is a non-profit organization committed to helping minority students plan business careers and guide them through college and into an MBA program. MLT will help students with career development, as well as a variety of other necessary skills. Participants are assigned a mentor with similar interests and experiences who can help students select graduate business programs and find full-time employment. Students also have access to internship, fellowship and volunteer listings.
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
This organization sponsors several internships and scholarships. The list an array of useful organizations, scholarships and internship programs on NAHJ.org.
The Smithsonian Institution Minority Internship Program
The Smithsonian offers 10-week summer, fall or spring internships to minority undergraduates and beginning graduate students with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Qualified students should be majoring in one of the disciplines in which the Smithsonian conducts research. Some of those are: American history, folk culture, anthropology, archeology, linguistics, evolutionary biology, environmental science, mineral science, planetary science, conservation, linguistics, ethnic studies, aeronautics and geology. Interns work on research or museum-related projects under the supervision of museum staff members. The position is full time, and interns receive a stipend of $400 per week, with additional travel allowances occasionally offered.