Learn: Forging connections through internships

Elon Interns Advance Alamance provided opportunities for students to engage with business and organizations in the community.

A unique partnership provided internship opportunities in Alamance County to 14 Elon students this summer. The pilot program, Elon Interns Advance Alamance, furnishes local organizations and businesses with additional resources while supplying Elon students with valuable workplace experience.

Through the eight-week program, students worked at different companies and organizations in the community, and participated in weekly professional development group sessions. The program comes at a time when many organizations are having difficulty filling vacant positions and internship opportunities for students are shifting. Robin Kazmarek, director of internships for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, says the program is also providing participating students a unique opportunity to learn more about the local community.

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“The idea is to try to meet the needs of our community partners while also giving our students a chance to start seeing Alamance County as a place to live and pursue a career after graduation,” Kazmarek says.

Integral to the program are the connections with the community of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life, which helped identify organizations in a position to provide the summer internships. For-profit businesses were also invited to participate in Elon Interns Advance Alamance, with students working in a variety of roles at organizations including Chandler Concrete, TS Designs, the City of Burlington, Burlington Animal Services, Alamance Arts and Milestone Wealth Partners, to name a few.

“It’s a great benefit for these students to have established relationships that may lead to additional opportunities in the future,” Kazmarek says. “This definitely helps develop the pipeline.”

Learn more about “Theme 1: Learn” of the Boldly Elon strategic plan.