South Dakota Mines students gain knowledge of the working world
RAPID CITY, S.D.-With labor shortages hitting the United States and college students wanting to further their experience, the South Dakota Mines is just one school that stresses the importance of hands-on experience to students.
Internships tend to be held over the summer months, and the school regularly hosts career fairs and a career exploration program to guide students into the right work experience.
Students have the opportunity to intern at a wide range of different companies all over the country and even the world, according to Matthew Hanley, the South Dakota Mines Director of Career Services.
“We have 446 students out on internships this summer. They are at 226 different companies in 41 states, plus France, Germany, and Canada. They are working for agricultural companies, manufacturing companies, mining companies, construction companies, and medical companies.” Hanley also said that there are students with internships at NASA and Google.
During the schools last graduating class, 70 percent of students went through internships during their time at the school and students who did take internships have a 99.6 percent job placement rate compared to students who didn’t. The students who took on an internship also had a $12,000 higher starting pay rate.
Hanley said, “It’s a no brainer. Take the opportunity that’s given to you. Even if it’s not your dream job or your dream internship, take that experience and use it to go where you want to be someday. If you have an internship under your belt, you are going to be even more competitive.”
Students aren’t the only beneficiaries of internships. Hanley explains how companies are able to fill a workforce and how students use what they learn in the classroom and contribute to any project thrown at them.
“It’s a great way to supplement your workforce over the summer. Interns can absolutely do real world work. They take what they are learning in the classroom and they will put that into real projects, and they can contribute.”
Students say that it is a great way to get hands-on experience they don’t get in the classroom, as well as apply their skills in a work environment. They also say that its a great way to gain confidence working in a real work environment.
Claudianne Moisset, is an intern at Project Solutions, an engineering company in Rapid City. Moisset explained that the work she has gained experience in and how it ties back to what she did in school.
“I work in business development and project management, so I get to use some of the skills I learned in the Marketing Department at the School of Mines. In school they teach you the math and science and how to problem solve that way, you don’t really get to see the management and people side of things.”
Moisset said that many students are nervous about taking on an internship because of their lack of experience and that many students fear the interview before obtaining a job.
“You just have to be confident in yourself, and really believe that you’re the best person for the job, even if you think there’s people out there that are smarter than you or more qualified. As long as you believe that you’re going to do a great job, and you have skills to offer the company, you just have to think about those things, and know that you’re going to do a great job no matter who else is out there.