statewide internship program launches, linking students and employers for now and future

Intern in Ohio launched last week, connecting thousands of employers and students in internship opportunities across the state. The matching program, which was created by Detroit-based Digerati and sponsored by the University of Toledo, is free to both students and employers.
Intern in Ohio uses Digerati's matching algorithm -- called Classroom to Career -- to match participants based on their skills, interests and requirements. The program saves employers time and money by narrowing down the candidate pool to students who meet the specific requirements for the internships offered. Students are presented with internships that match their interests and skills.
“This is truly a talent attraction and retention effort,” says Wendy Pittman, director of Classroom to Career. “Nationally, 80 percent of interns stay in the region where they interned. Intern in Ohio is another tool to make Cleveland and Ohio an internship destination.”
Digerati launched a similar program in Michigan in 2011, in which 127,000 matches and introductions have been made. Digerati found that 70 percent of interns in Michigan were subsequently offered full-time jobs.
Potential interns and employers are asked a short series of questions about the position and about their personal preferences. The system then identifies the top seven matches for each individual student as well as the business for each position. When a match is made, the employer and the student are notified, and both must select that they are interested before any contact information is shared.
Pittman points out that the program is especially attractive to smaller companies that may not have the resources to find interns with the exact qualifications they need. “If you live outside of Cleveland, you probably don’t know about places like University Circle,” she says. “But what an awesome opportunity if you got matched there.”
So far, 1,200 students have signed up on the site, along with 59 Ohio companies posting 77 positions. Those numbers are growing every day, says Pittman.

Source: Wendy Pittman
Writer: Karin Connelly