In today’s job market, recent college graduates are more likely to land a first job of their choice if they’ve acquired key skills through substantive and meaningful internships. But there’s a catch: While the majority of internships are unpaid, most college students need to earn money.
Students who must choose paid work unrelated to their field over an unpaid, but relevant internship, miss acquiring the vital skills and career preparation that an appropriate internship provides.
To this end, The University of Tulsa’s Kendall College of Arts and Sciences launched the D’Arcy Fellows Program in 2016 to provide its students valuable professional experience across a range of fields — nonprofits, arts organizations, policy think tanks and business corporations. An outstanding liberal arts education equips students with advanced critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills that are highly sought after by employers. The D’Arcy Fellowship helps students put such skills to immediate use, enabling them to gain valuable real-world experience, expand networks and explore career options before they graduate.
Funded through a generous estate gift from alumna and long-time TU supporter, Patti D’Arcy (BFA ’49), the D’Arcy Fellowship is a paid internship program that is competitive and challenging with a selective process that matches students with employers to benefit both. Employers have bright, capable and motivated interns for eight to ten weeks in the summer (or a little longer during the academic year) to help with special or ongoing projects, while interns get a glimpse of the workplace and its demands, bridging the gap between student and professional life.
The inaugural class of D’Arcy Fellows was selected through a rigorous process of applications and interviews. Fellows interned at 108 Contemporary, Habitat for Humanity, Iron Gate, OK Policy Institute and YWCA Mission Impact. Yearly program expansion is anticipated as more employers join the effort.
Interns for 2017 include Megan Hosmer (108 Contemporary), Lauren Beatty (New Hope Oklahoma) and Chauncy Johnson (YWCA Immigration and Refugee Services). Judging by the enthusiastic reports of our fellows, the program is off to a great start!