Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Junior Runway: Third Year Prep Week Spreads Resources for Third-Year Internship Seekers

Abe Frato
Third-year students attend Mocktails & Mingle to practice networking skills.

This week, Oberlin Student Senate hosted Junior Runway: Third Year Prep Week, a series of workshops and events aimed at preparing third-years to apply for and be successful in internships. Organized by Third-Year Class Representative Natalie Dufour with support from the Center for Career Exploration and Development and the Center for Student Success, the series included a host of themed workshops aimed at different aspects of internship exploration. 

Each day of the week focused on a specific aspect of internship applications. Monday’s workshop focused on helping students find suitable internships, while on Tuesday, students learned skills to build and improve their resumes and cover letters. Wednesday included a workshop and mocktail hour which taught students valuable networking skills, and Thursday’s workshop entailed  preparing students for internship interviews. 

According to Director of Student Leadership Jess Sonney, Dufour originally approached her with the idea in order to help other juniors prepare for upcoming internship application deadlines. 

“Natalie approached me early in the semester with an interest in planning a week of events aimed at third-year students,” Sonney wrote in an email to the Review. “She envisioned opportunities for third-year students to get support, obtain internships, practice for interviews, and network.” 

Junior Runway was also created with Oberlin’s new Internship+ program in mind. The Internship+ program, in previous years called the Junior Practicum, provides funding for students working at unpaid internships over the summer between their third and fourth years.

College third-year Ophelia Ortiz was excited about the events of Junior Runway, particularly the networking opportunities. 

“I do think it will be interesting to learn how to network in more of a professional environment,” Ortiz said. 

Ortiz also mentioned that she was hoping the events would discuss comparisons between in-state and out-of-state internships, and that she was pleased at the diversity of events offered. 

Kyle Farris, assistant director for career readiness, and Jacob Dunwiddie, senior director of student success & success coach, worked with Dufour to plan the event. 

Dunwiddie mentioned that one of his primary goals when helping organize Junior Runway was to instill confidence in students applying for internships. 

“I hope that students walk away with some confidence going into [the internship] process,” Dunwiddie said.  “I want folks to feel confident and really excited about all of the experiences they’ve had at Oberlin and lived experiences they’ve had that make them really qualified and capable for what they want to do next.” 

Farris also discussed his desire for students to feel confident in applying for internships, especially because junior year is particularly important for them. 

“We hope that the juniors will be able to be a little more confident in going out for different opportunities as they start coming up,” Farris said. “A lot of this internship stuff is very targeted towards the juniors because this is, between junior and senior years, honestly, your most critical point as far as future employment is concerned because that’s the stage at which you’re really setting yourself up for future career contacts and things like that.” 

Dunwiddie also noted that one of the benefits of a campus-wide event like Junior Runway is that it brings third-years together and helps them realize that they aren’t alone in their internship worries, while simultaneously connecting them with resources they otherwise might not know about. 

“What’s helpful about the events is that it brings folks together and normalizes the idea of ‘we’re all trying to work on this, and we all have different lived experiences and different knowledge — how do we bring that together and create that collective knowledge?’” Dunwiddie said. “It’s also a really great way to open the door to get to know folks as well as CSS for success coaching — to be like, ‘Oh, I know that face. I know that name. I will now make that connection.”

Farris also mentioned the importance of connecting students with resources through these events. 

“One of the big things that I try to make sure they’re aware of is a lot of the online resources that we have, because you can get pretty far with a lot of those pieces,” Farris said. 

He also mentioned that if students felt like they wanted more specific information and details about applications, his office is always willing to help. 

“If there was a topic that someone was really interested in for this or for any other part of our office that they weren’t able to come to, then we’re more than happy to work with them one-on-one to try to fill in that little gap and put them in contact with helpful folks or to talk them through whatever it is that we might have been going over in the workshop,” Farris said.  “People should reach out to us if there [are] things that we’re doing that they’re not able to attend, but that they would still like to learn more about.”

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