As HR professionals, aware of the complex set of factors that can create or predict human success, it should come as no surprise the importance that applied internships at both the high school and college levels play in the success graduates have landing jobs and then engaging more quickly in their new work once hired.
Couple this with experiencing a professor/instructor in school who cared about them as people, who encouraged and excited them about learning — and the odds of engagement and work success for the graduate increases even more.
A recent Gallup-Purdue University study, highlighted in The Herman Trend Alert (Nov. 26, 2014), draws out these observations, which hold true regardless of type of college or university the new grads attended.
Realizing the relationship and application of what you are being taught to real world job expectations through an internship, deepens the educational experience and culminates in greater job and personal satisfaction and success once full-time work begins.
These are points that should be of significant interest to both students and future employers. But they also have significance for educational administrators and faculty on a variety of levels as well.
To make a local connection to these thoughts and to focus (first) on the impact energized teachers can have on students in the classroom (part of the findings of the Gallup-Purdue study), I want to draw your attention to the Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) organization, headquartered in Santa Clara.
IISME recognized years ago the power of demonstrating to teachers — through actual hands-on work — the many job applications for what they teach, and then helping them incorporate that hands-on experience into lesson plans to stimulate their students’ minds and interests toward careers in the fields of science and technology.
To do this the IISME organization partners with businesses, which provide the jobs and in-lab work opportunities (fellowships) for faculty members each summer. In conjunction with these faculty fellowships, IISME’s staff assists teachers in translating their summer experiences into revised lesson plans for use in their classrooms — to bring learning to life for students when they return in the fall.
IISME provided 125 Summer Fellowships to teachers this past summer that will have a positive impact on an estimated 15,600 students in the Bay Area this year alone.
This is obviously a precursor to businesses working with schools towards paid internships and job related experiences for older students, but it is a most important translation point for engaged faculty to do a better job of exciting young learners in areas so critical to developing the interests and skills businesses will continue to look for as they fill their jobs.
You will continue to hear and read about applied internships and even apprenticeship programs because of the important roles they are playing in equipping future and current employees for tomorrow’s jobs. And they can be powerful “pre-employment connectors” for businesses to start building relationships with future talent to lock them in early — a good differentiator.
Don’t forget that faculty fellowships like those at IISME are yet another tool to consider for building pools of future technology talent. They too deserve your attention.
All of these approaches fall into the realm of effective and strategic HR because they directly impact the challenges of continually developing and acquiring talent.
As always we look forward to your thoughts or suggestions concerning these topics. If you are interested further in our perspectives on IISME, we have been avid supporters and investors in their programs for a number of years. We will be glad to share what we have learned. Contact us.