Many students are aware of how important it is to find an internship while in college. Though the experience raises studentsâ€™ market value, how much is a guaranteed internship actually worth?
Companies such as the University of Dreams have put a price tag on such an offer. Students are paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars to land their dream internship, all without sending in a single rÃ©sumÃ©.
The staff at University of Dreams has personal contacts at more than 500 companies. It uses these contacts to connect students with otherwise unattainable internships.
Fresno State students seem to have mixed feelings about hiring such a company to do the legwork.
â€œI donâ€™t believe that students should pay someone to find an internship,â€? business major Doris Trujillo said. â€œI believe there are great sources that are readily available to students around campus, such as Career Services.â€?
Trujillo, who currently interns at the Fresno Fire Department, said college career centers maintain good relationships with different companies for the purpose of helping students find internships.
â€œThose who go through University of Dreams are definitely missing out on the whole job-seeking experience,â€? Trujillo said. â€œThey find an easier way out like this and pay the big bucks to feel that sense of assurance.â€?
Business major and former Walgreens intern Norma Reyes said this â€œjob-seeking experienceâ€? is something students should learn from.
â€œThe internship is not the only part of the experience one can benefit from,â€? Reyes explained. â€œItâ€™s the entire process of landing that job. The feeling is very rewarding.â€?
Though she recognized that students paying companies like University of Dreams or Fast Track miss this part of the experience, Reyes admitted she would not decline the help.
â€œI donâ€™t reject any help from source. However, if the type of help Iâ€™m seeking costs more than the outcome I hope to accomplish, Iâ€™d reconsider,â€? Reyes said.
Though a costly route to take, students agreed that the experienced obtained during a successful internship can be invaluable in the eyes of future employers. Debbie Young, the internship coordinator for the Sid Craig School of Business, believes that some students need these outside resources in order to land a position in their desired field.
â€œI think it is OK for students to hire companies to find them internships,â€? Young said. â€œNot all communities can provide internships in all industries that students may be seeking.â€?
Young also said students paying for these services still have their work cut out for them, even after landing the internship.
â€œI think the student still has to sell themselves to the company, by going through the interviewing process,â€? she said. â€œI believe the recruitment companies are just assisting the student in finding potential opportunities.â€?
Not all Fresno State students are convinced about the seemingly win-win service.
Salvador Ortiz, a social work major and current intern, believes these potential opportunities are geared directly toward those with larger pocketbooks.
â€œNot everyone can afford such services,â€? Ortiz said. â€œIf you canâ€™t spend some time doing this research, how are you going to fare at the actual internship?â€?