By GOV. JOE MANCHIN
CHARLESTON -- With summer nearing, many students are starting to finalize their plans for summer employment. I encourage college students to apply for the Governor's Internship Program and learn from some of West Virginia's top employers this summer.
This internship opportunity offers high-achieving college students the chance to step beyond the classroom into the world of experiential learning. This program greatly benefits our state's college students as well as employers of private, non-profit and governmental organizations within West Virginia.
Designed to encourage outstanding college students to remain in West Virginia after graduation, this exceptional learning experience strives to place students in internships by matching their interests with the needs of private businesses, state agencies or non-profit organizations seeking to host interns.
Participants in the program obtain real-life work experience, including: interviewing for internship opportunities, working in a business-like setting, building upon classroom knowledge and networking with fellow students as well as with state and business leaders. Students also gain important references for the future and may use the internship experience to evaluate current and future career choices.
This summer employment also provides great training and vocational opportunities for students during their internship. In the past, bi-weekly sessions have been offered on topics such as networking led by First Lady Gayle Manchin. And, several new sessions are being planned for this upcoming summer.
For a student to be eligible to participate in the Governor's Internship Program, he or she must:
* Be a student in a West Virginia college or university, or a West Virginia resident attending an accredited college or university elsewhere;
* Have completed at least one academic year of study at an accredited college or university by June of the same year the applicant applies; and,
* Have a cumulative college/university GPA of 3.0 or greater.
The application process is simple. Students should visit the program Web site at www.wvgip.org to complete and submit their application electronically. The application deadline for the program is April 30.
In addition, I encourage private businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies to sign up to host an intern this summer, because hiring an intern can be just as rewarding an experience for the employers as it is for the students. Employers interested in the program may complete and submit an online form as well.
Apply today for this summer's Governor's Internship Program and gain knowledge, understanding and appreciation for today's work force.
For more information on this leadership opportunity, please visit www.wvgip.org or contact the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, at (304) 558-2440.