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Program Description

Program Description

In the Fall of 2023, students will have the opportunity to apply to the CERSA internship program, to be held May-August, 2024. Students will access the abstracts for each internship opportunity, and self-select their first, second, and third choice internship position. Mentors will have the opportunity to view applications, and make selections based on student experience and expectations.

Once students and mentors are matched, we will invite the students to participate in a full-day professional development workshop which will be held in Raleigh, NC in the spring of 2024 (depending on students’ home base for the summer of 2024). We will work with the NC State University’s Career Development Center to bring students a variety of activities. In the afternoon, students will be expected to meet with their mentors. This will give mentors and students the opportunity to meet one another, and form relationships that will set the program up for success. We will ask the mentors to give a brief presentation on their company/program, and discuss how they engage the STEM community in their profession. After meeting, each participant will be asked to complete a document stating their own personal goals and expectations, as well as their goals and expectations as it pertains to working with their intern or mentor. They will be asked to share so that these goals and expectations can be aligned. While our program will facilitate and guide the process, ultimately it will be up to the intern and the professional mentor to be sure that they get the most of the program. 

Interns will begin their 12-week program at the close of the 2024 spring semester and conclude their work before the 2024 fall semester begins. There will also be some networking built into this day as well, as we want the students and the mentors to have the chance to meet one another, and exchange ideas and opportunities. After their internship concludes, students will be asked to give a short presentation on their program, what they learned, and share any ideas on how we can make the program stronger moving forward. While the formal period of this grant program will be completed, the students’ leadership experience will not be. These opportunities will be either at our Fall Advisory Board Meetings or CALS or NC State events, or Centennial Campus Middle School, our local partner middle school.

At A Glance

Length of program: 12 weeks (typically, May-August)

  • Week 1: Orientation, Introduction to Mentors and Project Planning
    • Orientation to introduce students to internship program
    • Interns meet with mentors
    • Setting internship goals
  • Week 2: Starting Project Work and Professional Development Short-Courses
    • Interns begin project work
    • Professional development short-courses
  • Weeks 3-11: Project Work and Professional Development
    • Check-ins from mentors twice a week
    • Continued professional development opportunities
  • Week 12: Project Wrap-Up and Presentations
    • Interns finish their projects
    • Present work to mentors and other interns
  • Post-Program: Evaluation and Professional Meeting
    • Mentors will evaluate interns (exit interview)
    • Opportunity for interns to present their work at a professional meeting