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Feb. 2, 2015

Grants heighten CLASS internship opportunities

By Melanie Morris

Cleveland State University has received grants from two organizations to help create 40 paid internships for liberal arts students.

The school received $113,908 from the Career Ready Internship program and $92,000 from the Fenn Educational Fund of the Cleveland Foundation. These funds will help Cleveland State develop new internships with manufacturers, local governments and nonprofit organizations.

More than half of the internships will come from the school’s partnership with five regional organizations. These organizations include Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Cleveland Water Alliance, Business Volunteers Unlimited, Arts and Culture and Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, an organization that provides for services in Cleveland’s community to improve neighborhoods, jumped at the chance to partner with Cleveland State.

“CSU interns have aided and augmented the work of Neighborhood Progress for years,” Colleen Gilson, vice president of CDC Services at Neighborhood Progress, said. “Continuing the tradition through this program only made natural sense.”

The remaining internships will be generated in manufacturing companies with support from organizations including MAGNET, Wire-Net, BioEnterprise, the President’s Council and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Gregory Sadlek, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), said the members of CLASS are very grateful for these grants and feel that these internships will add real value to the students’ education.

“They will show students how the transferable skills they learned in the liberal arts curriculum can be applied to real world problems and jobs in the economy,” Sadlek said. “Being awarded one of these internships is an honor, and I hope that those awarded internships will see it that way.”

Cleveland State does offer internships to all majors, but according to Mitzi Vazquez-Long, director of Talent Development for Cleveland State’s Career Success Network, these grants focus specifically on the programs that require field experience before graduation. These internships also include those students who are often overlooked in the internship placement process.

“Students who participate in an internship gain an awareness of the type of work and working environment that best suits their skills and talents, which leads to better career decisions,” Vazquez-Long said.

She, Sadlek and Gilson emphasized the importance of the connections and network developed through an internship.

A travel stipend is available as an added resource for students whose transportation costs could prohibit them from pursuing certain opportunities.

Students who are interested in one of the internships can start by scheduling an appointment with a talent coordinator at the Career Success Network by calling 216-687-2233 or visiting the office in Rhodes Tower West 280.