New York Times highlights externships as a way to 'test drive' different careers

The New York Times highlighted Gettysburg College in an April article as one institution that is using home-stay externships with alumni, parents, or friends as a way to introduce students to the work-life balance that comes with a career.

The Center for Career Development arranges for dozens of students to have externships throughout the year - between semesters, over the summer, and during Spring Break - giving students a chance to explore different career options before committing to an internship. A video series highlighted some of the student experiences.

The full story is available. The following is an excerpt:

Externships have long been a required part of medical training: nursing students get practical experience trailing their registered-nurse elders.

Adapting the concept, many colleges and universities now coordinate externships for their undergraduates. These programs give graduates a way to connect with their alma mater beyond the usual check-writing. And in a bad economy, with jobs and internships scarce, they give students some perspective on potential career paths at a heavily discounted rate, as well as a chance to try out what they've learned.

"I'm missing a week that I would have otherwise spent on the couch," said Ms. Gold, a senior, in between bites of an omelette during a lunch break. Neither women had spent more than $40 by week's end. "But it's been a good investment in my future, time well spent."

Home-stay externships are hardly unique to Carleton. Gettysburg College and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Kalamazoo College in Michigan, Centre College in Kentucky and Luther College in Iowa offer them during breaks in the academic year.

Posted: 4/19/2010

Posted: Mon, 19 Apr 2010

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