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UMSI students exceed expectations for 2020 summer internships

Wednesday, 08/05/2020

Nearly 350 UMSI students worked in credit-based or required summer internships this year, despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.    

“While all internships were virtual this summer and may look a little different from traditional internships, students are reporting valuable learning and skill-building experiences that they can add to their resumes,” said Joanna Kroll, director of the Career Development Office at the University of Michigan School of Information.

Businesses were disrupted and states were ordering lockdowns just as summer internship season was beginning. Even so, the number of UMSI credit-based or required internships represents 90% of a normal year. Every internship was in compliance with U-M Provost guidelines to ensure the health and safety of students.

Bachelor of Science in Information students held 90 elective credit-earning internships at companies such as Nike, Amazon, Apple, IBM and Google.  Eighteen students participated in U-M faculty research and UMSI engaged learning programs, also earning internship credit this summer. 

Students in the Master of Science in Information program held 220 internships with UMSI faculty research, U-M Libraries & Museums, and organizations including Microsoft, Blizzard Entertainment, Amazon, Wish, Zillow, Salesforce, Facebook, EA Games and The Coca-Cola Company. 

Rising second-year students in the Master of Health Informatics program participated in internships with Michigan Medicine, Caravan Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Accenture.

For MSI students who were unable to obtain an internship, the CDO developed a six-week course where students worked on professional projects, networked with UMSI alumni and participated in job search and career-readiness learning. Waiver options for required internships were also developed for MHI and MSI students, giving students the opportunity to determine a plan that would best meet their needs for participating in additional engaged learning programs or courses. 

During July, the CDO hosted 24 alumni and 75 students for virtual networking and engagement opportunities as part of UMSI’s new Alumni Connections Program. UMSI also expanded its internship grant funding this summer to help fund 30 students with low-paying or unpaid internships.

UMSI’s Career Development Office provides UMSI students with strategic, customized and comprehensive career services. Following the University of Michigan’s public health-informed safety guidelines and principles, the CDO will continue adapting its established career-building services for the 2020-2021 school year, including interview preparation, career coaching and advising, campus recruitment, employer engagement, workshops, programs, career fair, and UMSI’s comprehensive online recruiting system, iTrack.

UMSI strongly values engaged learning through internship experiences and our students continued their pursuit of this while internships were being modified, delayed, and canceled due to the pandemic,” said Assistant Director of Career Development Katie Dunn. “Their persistence and hard work led to many amazing internships and learning experiences this summer. I'm extremely proud of and impressed by the resilience UMSI students demonstrated, which will continue to be an asset to them in their careers.”

- UMSI News Service