$75K helps create virtual summer internships for Wis. college students

Posted at 5:30 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 11:36:34-04

MILWAUKEE — Despite the despair we have seen from this pandemic, we have made it our goal to introduce you to resources in our community.

Two organizations have put their minds together to create virtual paid internships to keep college students on track.

Carthage College sophomore Bailey Wellen has the world at her fingertips.

At 20-years-old she was just about to begin a paid internship that fit her field in computer and data science.

“There was going to be some travel involved so it looked like  it was going to be a good chance to get to know people and get to see what the industry would look like," said Wellen.

Then, the pandemic hit. Her dream opportunity has moved to a two-week virtual internship. Leaving her out of a great experience.

“It’s been stressful for a lot of students,” said Wellen.

Kathy Henrich, CEO of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition heard the same concern from her students.

"I was teaching a class and the students said what are we going to do about internships?” said Henrich.

She decided to do something about it, pledging $75,000 to the Milwaukee organization, The Commons, to create a 10-week, virtual paid summer internship program for at least 25 Wisconsin college students.

It’s a first for The Commons, as gatherings were typically what internships looked like before COVID-19.

Maggie Dauss, director of The Commons says starting June 9, the internship will be completely virtual.

“So they can feel they're still getting some real world hands on work. I think the networking is just as important as the learning its important for people to learn what your strengths are.”

For Wellen, she is one of the 25 students selected to be part of this new venture. She is very excited adding, “Just getting that experience to understand what I need to work on in order to get a job when I graduate.”

Here’s the Rebound Rundown:
If you landed an internship, try to pivot the experience to a virtual one. If that does not pan out, try to move this opportunity to the next semester. If all else fails, work with your professor, they may have the right connections to help you!

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Applications are still being accepted by The Commons virtual summer internship program. With the seed money they received from MKE Tech Hub Coalition they hope to quadruple their internship size.

We cannot say this enough. We are all in this together. This crisis is taking a toll on families. If you are interested in applying for this internship or are an organization that would like to be part of this virtual internship program, click here.

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