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July 01, 2002
Internships Good Fit for Students, Employers
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e Schneider, executive director of Western Maryland camps Airy and Louise found himself in a bind. He told the Baltimore Sun that applications for summer counselor positions were falling, forcing him and his staff to come up with a creative solution.

As a result, Schneider and the camps' administration developed an internship program through which counselors can receive credit through their colleges and universities.

One student affected by this arrangement is 21-year-old Erin Foard, a psychology major at Goucher College. She will pass her summer with a dozen 14- and 15-year-old girls, simultaneously keeping a journal on a subject of her choosing. She told the Sun that her experience at the camp resembles a child-development lab.

Camps, along with other seasonal employers such as swimming pools and country clubs, are all seeing a decline in summer applications.

More and more college students, less concerned about short-term cash and more concerned about resume-building and experience, are seeking summer internships for credit.

Because of the increase in internship-seeking, Schneider told the Sun that his solution "seemed like a natural [one]."

According to the Sun, the camps publicize internship opportunities through college programs that relate to children in any way - in sports and recreation, psychology, education, social work.

Last summer, Rebecca Stewart rewrote Camp Louise's outdoor standards and procedures for the camp's national accreditation as part of a three-credit internship. The final product was 80 pages.

Students these days are looking to find any opportunity to get ahead. Joel N. Morse of the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business told the Sun, "Just as weekends aren't really off for most people, summers aren't really off for most students."

With the unemployment rate at an eight-year high, students are also often forced to take unpaid internships simply for the experience in the work world.

Anne-Laure Eliasson, a University of Maryland student, worked at a public pool for $6 an hour after she graduated from high school. However, after her first year of college, she took an unpaid position at a small law firm simply for the experience.

Eliasson, who plans to apply to law school, told the Sun, "I just figured I had to look at the long term, and I knew I was going to be applying to law school. What's going to be more beneficial for me?"

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