Although internships don’t always result in a full-time offer from the same employer, Props says their value is just as apparent to recruiters seeking candidates with the same range of skills.

“If you complete one or more internships in your field of study, as you go into the interview process for full-time employment, recruiters from companies in related industries are more likely to ask about what you did during your internships than your academic achievements,” he says.

Although the job market doesn’t sound as healthy as the news might portray, Props says the college graduate hiring outcomes are a “different animal.” In 2013, Krannert undergraduates achieved an 89 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation.

“The number of companies that have remained on campus for career fairs has been fairly strong,” he says. “We’ve maxed out the last two years. That says a lot for Krannert students and Purdue. We’ve run out of room to put companies who want to hire our graduates.”

Randall Lewis, KPDC executive director, says internships are even more critical for full-time master’s students enrolled in the school’s two-year MBA and human resource management programs; the MBA program boasted a 91 percent placement rate in 2013.

Because the time frame for such programs is accelerated, KPDC begins helping students assess their career goals and skills before courses start each fall. That’s followed by targeted, individualized professional development and numerous experiential learning opportunities with real-world companies and clients.

“Most of our graduate students come from technical and analytical backgrounds, so we work hard to assist them in developing the key business and leadership skills needed to immediately contribute and advance their careers,” Lewis says.

Demetrius Wilson, for example, landed an internship with Bank of America in summer 2013 after his first year in the MBA program. Just 10 weeks later, the company offered him a full-time position. He began his first rotation in Bank of America’s Technology MBA Leadership Development Program in Charlotte, North Carolina, after graduating in May.

As a student whose undergraduate education was in engineering, Wilson concentrated his first year of MBA studies in management information systems and finance to prepare him for an internship in big banking.

“My internship didn’t include a finance role, but the classes I’d taken at Krannert allowed me to understand ‘bank talk’ and the different functions and areas within the industry,” Wilson says. “It was very helpful to have that knowledge going in, and the experience helped give my final year of studies at Krannert even more focus.”

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