Externships Enable Exploration

16 December 2020

In the rapidly evolving world of work, virtual and remote positions are becoming the standard, especially among a highly-skilled workforce (OECD Policy Response to Coronavirus, September 7, 2020).

With this transformation in the world of work, the Career Center is responding with innovative program delivery. We are adapting our core programs to ensure that our students develop essential skills, apply academic knowledge to real-world situations, and have the opportunity to build and cultivate professional relationships that will give Carls a competitive advantage.

This year’s Winter Break Externship Program is taking place virtually. 232 students and over 80 hosts from a wide variety of career fields are participating in the program. Our 2020 externship cohort represented 11 percent of the campus student body,reflecting a great amount of diversity. The junior class made up the majority of the participants, with sophomores following right behind.

Hosts responded to the virtual, project-based format with creativity. One of our hosts, Wes Sundquist ’81 P’16, partnered with the Career Center to host 19 students in a semi-symposium structured externship to introduce students to scientific research careers. Carls met with several prominent researchers across the University of Utah and the country (including Nels Elde ’95, MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient) throughout the two-week externship. Students learned about active research projects, critiqued research articles, and deliveredpublic presentations at the end of the experience.

For some students, externships are made for testing the water. For others, the externship is an opportunity to open a door. No matter where a student may be in the journey, we know externships are pivotal in ensuring students have the knowledge, confidence, and connections to live an extraordinary and meaningful life after Carleton.