From the time students start college, they ponder, search for and worry about finding the perfect summer internship -- a position that has become even more of a priority with the uncertain economy. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the unemployment rate for September 2003 was 6.1 percent - or 9 million people; in January 2001, the rate of unemployment was 4.1 percent.
The result has been that premed students want internships at hospitals, aspiring journalists scout for positions at newspapers and marketing majors hope to find placements at corporations, all with the goal of increasing chances of landing a job postgraduation.
"Internships provide value when graduates apply for jobs, especially when they apply for a job with the employer with whom they had their internship," says Charles North, assistant professor of economics. "Internships are like tryouts, and it gives them an inside track."
Although internships may give graduates a head start on their careers, the coveted positions also offer meaningful "real world" experience. The following five Baylor students spent summer 2003 on the job in cities from coast to coast -- and found that how they spent their summer vacations prepared them well for their next career moves.