As someone who teaches college students, I am reminded daily of the importance of helping them find meaningful work with internships, co-ops and jobs. I gather whatever info I can and pass the opportunities along to my current and former students. Thankfully, there are some other people in Boston who have been focusing on this critical problem too...
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are hosting a gathering of business and academic leaders on Monday March 19th to discuss the benefits and best practices of student internships. Remarks will be made by Governor Deval Patrick; Kenneth Montgomery, First VP/COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; and Paul Guzzi, President/CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce also is offering Chamber Intern Connect to connect area employers with college students throughout the region. No matter the specific internship, industry, or paid vs. unpaid opportunity, Chamber members post summer internships to a high-traffic database as well as the Commonwealth’s statewide Mass Stay Here internship site.
The Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), led by BWP Connector Debi Kleiman, offers student opportunities throughout the year. The MITX Student Center helps university and college students get connected to marketing and internet business opportunities throughout the region. With a similar mission the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC)'s Education Foundation has launched the MassTLC Internship Network as the go-to source for tech sector internships in Massachusetts.
As Scott Kirsner mentioned earlier this year in his Innovation Economy blog post, Northeastern University student Cory Bolotsky is pushing hard with the Startup Summer initiative he is running as a part of Startup Massachusetts and the Startup America Partnership. Bolotsky is seeking to fill 100 student internships this summer with an eventual goal of ramping up to 500 in future years!
Lastly, in the startup environment of the Innovation District, Northeastern alum Corey Turner is working on CampusEmployer, an online platform that allows employers to easily target college students with job postings. Students using a .edu email can set up a profile and receive job notifications when a job matches their preferences. Profile pages with digital resumes and videos are planned for release shortly.
These are just some of the exciting attempts at tackling the "brain drain" problem in Massachusetts. Please comment below on these programs, other programs that weren't mentioned here, or on your own experiences and efforts at talent retention.
Chad O’Connor is a communication consultant, Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University, and Boston World Partnerships Connector. He serves as a contributing co-editor of this blog.
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