Community Impact | June 30, 2022

UFCU Internship Program Fast-Tracks Employment for Graduates

Now in its fourth year, UFCU’s award-winning internship program continues to reduce the time between graduation and employment, thus improving the financial health of participating interns. This is particularly important to hopeful graduates as they navigate what is often a precarious time of transition.

Even with a new degree or certificate, young adults seeking employment after they complete their schooling can wait three to six months or more to land their first job. When times are tough, even the best of students may be forced to secure employment unrelated to their education. The truth is that paid internships provide not only real-world experience and income, but also an improved path to long-term employment.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACEweb.org) reports that internships increase starting salaries and decrease time between graduation and employment. UFCU proudly reports that 67% of their former interns have landed a role in one month or less after graduation. That remarkable decrease in the time it takes to move from student to jobholder makes an important difference, not only to those individuals, but to the community at large.

Christine Hickey is the senior relationship management specialist responsible for managing the internship program. She’s been with UFCU since 2004. “Our program focuses on every individual student,” Hickey said. “We provide opportunities that will help them skill up in their future job roles and also give them the invaluable soft skills and professional development that will serve them in their careers for years to come.”

Each summer, all UFCU internships begin and end on the same timeline, creating an intimate cohort experience for participants. This consistency across all UFCU business units fosters a kinship among all those involved. Beyond real-life work experience, interns benefit from networking opportunities, hosted intern events, mixers, chats with UFCU mentors and leaders, and even the opportunity to volunteer in the community through our DO GOOD program.

“Relationships are all there is,” Hickey reiterated. “Sometimes the next opportunity is not about what you know as much as who you know. Our program fosters those relationships, and we’re doing our best to give the next generation of employees a head start on their careers. That gives them a leg up individually, and boosts the financial health of our community overall. We’re thrilled to be a part of that.”