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The linchpin for future success

Parent-driven student internship program offers exciting career explorations
Posted May 28, 2015
The Evans Family The Evans Family

Reconstructing coral reefs off the coast of Australia. Designing advanced artificial limbs. Sharpening science news writing skills. Shadowing primary care physicians in Greece. This summer, Hopkins students are exploring an array of new career paths through an initiative called the Parents Internship Network (PIN). 

The two year-old program is a collaborative effort of the university’s Career Center, the Hopkins Parents Council, and the Parents Programs. Open to any undergraduate, the program provides paid summer internships offering real-world professional experiences across a range of industries, from finance and technology to architecture and government, through organizations that include Amazon, Medimmune, Hyatt, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, and more.

What’s most remarkable about the program, says Margie Carney, associate director of the Parents Programs, is all of its new and ongoing internships are generated by Hopkins parents. “Our parents bring an interesting diversity to the roster of internships because of the spectrum of careers they themselves have. They are responsible for broadening the scope of the kind of opportunities we can offer to students both in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and the liberal arts.”

The program reaches out to parents to assess their interest in promoting or starting a summer internship at their respective workplaces. New opportunities are vetted and posted to J-Connect, the university’s student portal. Career Center counselors then provide guidance in aligning each student’s career interests with potential internships, with a special emphasis on expanding their professional horizons. The center also manages subsequent interviews and placements.

Carney credits George Evans, P’15, for the program’s successful growth.

In joining the Hopkins Parents Council in 2012, the Evans made a generous leadership gift, but still felt there was more they could do. “When we got involved with the Council, we discovered that, of the summer internships available to undergrads through the Career Center, just 33 were generated by parents of undergraduate students,” says George. “We felt that there was a great untapped potential within our pool of parents to identify additional internships provided by the parents themselves.”

As chair of the Council’s newly created PIN program, George, along with Jamie, set to work and soon unveiled an ambitious goal — to bring the number of parent-referred summer internships up from 33 to 100 in the first year of the initiative.

Applying his business acumen, George organized and actively promoted the program during the early months, branding the effort as “PIN:100” to underscore the goal of adding new internships. The result? PIN exceeded its initial goal by May 2014, generating 149 internships from 37 companies. “We found that parents have a more immediate connection with this initiative and want to be involved,” George says, “because it relates directly to opportunities for their own sons or daughters, as well as to future students who follow them at Hopkins.”

The newest drive, PIN:200, has posted even higher numbers, generating 235 internships from 66 companies from September 2014 to the present – a 78 percent increase in parent participation, along with an internship retention rate of 59 percent.

Now that their daughter Lauren (A&S ’15) has graduated, and they prepare their own graduation from the Hopkins Parents Council, George and Jamie Evans remain enthusiastic about the program’s potential.  “We were very passionate about supporting a program where the relevancy of the internships is very high to the students’ career paths,” says George. “I think PIN will continue to expand, because we have good fundamentals in place.”

“We tapped into a dynamic pool of professionals who have a vested interest in advancing the career success of Hopkins undergraduates,” notes Jamie. “As a parent, who wouldn’t want to have that impact?”

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