Oct. 27, 2017
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Ten Illinois Wesleyan students will each receive $1,000 to support their work in paid internships with local nonprofit and social service agencies for the second consecutive year, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation.
“The IWU Hart Career Center manages a centralized internship program that includes a long history of civic engagement within the Bloomington-Normal community,” said Hart Career Center Director Warren Kistner. “This engagement includes non-profit organizations providing internship opportunities for IWU students.
“Internships allow Illinois Wesleyan students to explore possible career fields, gain valuable skills and career-related experience, apply academic preparation in real-world settings, and establish professional contacts.”
Established in 2016, the Mitsubishi Community Partners Program partially or fully underwrites paid internships at local nonprofits based on the agencies’ ability to fund the internships. During the 2016-17 academic year, 10 students – who also each received $1,000 – participated in the program, including Nate Edison '18 who volunteered as an operation manager with the West Bloomington Revitalization Project Tool Library.
“It was a good chance to see not only what great things are going on in the community – How awesome is the concept of a Tool Library? – but also some of the not-so-great things and struggles that people right here in our community go through,” said Edison, who is majoring in accounting. “This internship gave me a chance to help alleviate that struggle, even if it was just in a small way. I feel giving back to the community is one of the greatest things anyone can do.”
Psychology major Mariah Smith '18 served as a resident services intern at the Westminster Village retirement community. Like Edison, Smith enjoyed the immersive internship experience made possible by the Mitsubishi Community Partners Program.
“It gave me the opportunity to learn how to work with a population different than what I have worked with in the past,” Smith said. “I got to learn what this population of individuals found entertaining, and I was able to help them enjoy such experiences.”
The number of students interning during their years at Illinois Wesleyan continues to grow, with one in four IWU students participating in an internship each year. Another $10,000 grant from the Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation aids in furthering the University’s internship program efforts.
“Non-profit organizations often lack the resources to offer competitive, paid internships due to financial constraints, and yet they have extremely rich experiences to provide to students,” Kistner said. “By providing funding to support these organizations, Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation helps introduce students to sectors of the job market that they might not otherwise be exposed to.”
A summary of experiences from last year’s Mitsubishi Community Partners Program follows.
Helped develop creative ways in recruitment to bring qualified applicants to Marcfirst, which is a
non-profit supporting people with developmental disabilities in McLean County.
Assisted with the coordination of Continuing Medical Education Programs and the Women's Health Night program.
Provided administrative and marketing support by handling inquiries from customers and vendors, and assisted with development and execution of a marketing plan.
Assisted with environmental education programs in schools, presented to community groups, assisted in staffing the center, performed waste audits, developed new environmental programs and assisted with planning for the Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo.
Served homeless clients in need of emergency shelter and various other resources.
Facilitated the daily operations of the Tool Library, which is a free lending library of tools and equipment.
Assisted in researching, planning and leading daily activities for a specified group of elderly
Supported performances and the general operations of the center.
Performed work in research and management analysis related to the county budget, human resources management and the functions of 24 county agencies.