Hiatt introduces a database of internship reviews

Hundreds of reports available; monthly raffle to encourage more

World of Work scholarship recipient James Bartolacci '11, at the firm of James Carr, Architecture and Design in Cambridge, MA.

WOW recipient Ariel Barnehama '13 at the Weill Cornell Center for Complimentary and Integrative Medicine in New York City.

 “I would have loved to have a resource like the Brandeis Internship Exchange available to me these past few years,” says Daniel Liebman ’12. “There are so many amazing internships out there, but many are very difficult to find if you don't know where to look.”

The internship search process for college students is a multi-faceted being: It involves self-reflection on passions, identifying career interests, and finally, filtering through thousands of internship opportunities before they begin to apply. To help, the Hiatt Career Center, in partnership with Brandeis University’s Library and Technology Services, recently has added a new online tool to their arsenal of internship search resources that is available exclusively for Brandeis students.

The Brandeis Internship Exchange (BIX) is an easy and convenient way for Brandeis students to find and talk about real internship opportunities. If students need an internship, they can browse hundreds of internship reviews from classmates to get leads.  Alternatively, students who just completed internships can share their experience anonymously with others.

Most of Brandeis’ peer institutions do not have a comparable system.

“Students get advice from their friends on all sorts of things from selecting classes to renting apartments. Why not internships?” says Joe Du Pont, dean of the Hiatt Career Center. “It made perfect sense to create a tool that allows students to review their internship experiences and provides a platform for other students to benefit from their perspective.”

By logging in with their UNet ID, students can search for internships based on criteria like major or location—a convenient way to see what other students in a particular field have gone on to do with their careers. Akash Vadalia ’12 remarks, “The feature that really got me was the very cool search options that allow you to narrow in on exactly what a student may be looking for. A student majoring in Biology and Hispanic Studies can look at all the science internships, all the Hispanic study internships and even some potential crosses between the two.”

Students can also write their own completely anonymous reviews in about five to ten minutes to help get the word out about great or not-so-great internship experiences and even give advice to future interns at their internship site.

“I decided to share my experiences because I would have wanted someone else to do the same in my place,” Liebman says. “If you find a great internship, share the knowledge! I hope my review can make the search a little easier for future Brandeisians looking for the kinds of things I did.”

The online database already contains nearly 650 reviews for Brandeis students, by Brandeis students. Jessica Paquin, assistant director of academic internships at the Hiatt Career Center and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, notes, “The more internships Brandeis students post, the more internships there are for other students to find.”

In order to encourage student participation, Hiatt is raffling off $50 gift cards each month to students who write reviews.

Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 also encourages students to write reviews.

“As a community, we strive not to be cut-throat but to be open and collaborative. BIX goes right along with this philosophy, and I think students will appreciate the opportunity to voice their opinions on their internships and experiences for the benefit of others.”

The database was created and developed with the same sense of collaboration. Sherri Drisdelle, the LTS project manager for BIX, explains: “The project truly showcases how well LTS and Hiatt worked as a team to produce a successful and efficient product. We looked at the University’s needs and addressed them to create a unique, accessible web app that’s not only for students, but faculty and career counselors as well.”

Faculty have expressed interest in receiving reports about internships specific to their department, so that they will be able to better recommend internship sites to students in their field. Detlev Suderow, professor of the BUS89 internship course, remarks, “This is a terrific idea. And it’s always interesting to see how many students with a particular major worked in what industry, in what job function and how happy they were.”

“As more and more data is collected, BIX will also help shed light on some larger institutional questions Hiatt hopes to track over time in collaboration with other offices such as how curricular and co-curricular experiences shape the Brandeis experience for students,” says Du Pont.

Students can begin posting and searching reviews at the Brandeis Internship Exchange. Learn more about tips for making the most out of the system.

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