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Live! - Opinion

This article is an opinion piece and should be taken as such. It is highly likely to be biased, but either the article itself or the ensuing discussion will probably be entertaining. Live! takes no editorial line on opinion pieces.

Internship Centre exceeds all targets

Feb 20 2003 16:00
Shrenik Patel
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs but where is the support? Succeeding despite lack of Union help.
The inaugural Internships Fair in December 2002

The Internship Centre has been very successful this year, having been accessed 13,697 times and processing 500 applications.

On Monday the 17th of February, after approximately 5 hours of sorting, grouping, checking, re-checking and stuffing, a record number of applications for summer jobs were sent off by the Internship Centre team. Much like all CGCU officers, the Internship Centre team is formed of volunteers who devote their time to run an essential service that directly benefits students as many obtain summer jobs from of the activity.

The last few days before the Internship Centre application deadline saw a frenzy of activity as the team rushed about to promote the Centre as well as trying to answer questions from a host of students flocking into the CGCU office.

It is has become clear that ICU is not at all keen to support this activity. Despite the 500+ applications, from across all engineering departments, the Union can’t even be bothered to put the forms in the post to prospective employers. This constitutes a gross failure to serve those students who have gone to the trouble of applying for internships. Doesn’t the Union exist to serve the students of Imperial College?

Evidently not, it has emerged that ICU is totally pre-occupied with running an Alternative Careers Fair, for the Environmental Society. Students are being disadvantaged at the expense of this careers fair. If the Union chooses to organise a Careers Fair with Environmental Soc, surely only appropriate resources, rather than all union resources, should be devoted to the task. It may be a utilitarian argument but students need summer jobs, especially if they’re going to have to pay tuition fees. The Internship Centre has been finding hundreds of placements for students over the last 3 years. At a time when students need summer employment more than ever, why is the Union not supporting?

With elections just around the corner, it is hoped that the new candidates will adjust their view and look more favourably upon the Centre. After all, 5,000 students stand to benefit from it and it is time that the central union did more to support it.

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Discussion about “Internship Centre exceeds all targets”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Feb 20 2003 16:22

As the Internship Centre Co-ordinator, I think this is absolutely ridiculous. I give more than my share of free- time and I don?t see why I should have to spend any more on an activity that the Union could assist with. The Union is not helping me, the Union is not helping this years 300+ applicants.

BTW, I would like to thank the team for all the help they have given me.

Feb 20 2003 17:15

Why is this opinion? Sounds more like a fact to me.

3. tom t   
Feb 21 2003 11:22

RE: Alternative Careers Fair

ESoc worked hard on teh Alternative Careers Fair for three years now, putting on the spectacular success that was last years with our pitiful budget and lots of volunteer resource. Even Atul came and represented the internship centre at tHAT Fair.

However, we felt that after consistently expanding the Careers Fair and tripling throughput, it was time the Union became involved, so we got a paper passed at Exec (some time ago) mandating the Union to support and help SF2003 (sustainable futures 2003). This is an important Union service, just like the internship centre, and I'm sure that a well written paper to Exec would aid your cause more than a slagging off on Live!

I sympathise though with you [email protected]: amount of work volunteers do and you do, and how difficult it can be to get Union support - keep trying!



4. Atul   
Feb 21 2003 15:27

Tom, Shrenik's not really having a go at ESoc as such, because just like us you guys had to slave away for the last 3 years to make your fair the sucess it is today. We would always like to support your fair by having a stand on it.

Shrenik does have a valid point that for the welfare we do provide to the students, (not only Faculty of Engineering students, ALL college students can use the service), the union has simply not supported our scheme enough and has constantly rejected all of our proposals for having a union staff member to assist us in the past.

The welfare service the Internship Centre provides is very important and it is time that either college or the union supported it better.

I am glad to see that the Internship Centre is being seen more seriously by Union election candidates as well, although wether they might help is another matter.

Feb 21 2003 19:31

ICU suffers from a "not invented here" culture. The central Union is too often unwilling to support activites without completely taking them over or doing its own thing.

And ESoc's Alternatives Careers Fair (which I have to say, is very deserving of Union support) only first got noticed last year when DPEW (David Francis) brought a proposal to Exec that they should get some funding. The reaction was not very positive, but David did manage to get some money and I'm glad to see that Union support has been extended this year.

As for the Internship Centre, or indeed other activities, getting more central ICU support... depends on whether there's a sabbatical there to champion them. ESoc's Alternative Careers Fair probably wouldn't have got a look in, if David hadn't been determined to get help for it last year.

6. tom t   
Feb 24 2003 16:12

Well Mustafa, thanks for those kind words I'm sure ESoc will give you their block vote....

On a serious note, David Francis had to be lobbied somewhat to get the paper into Exec...

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