In the most recent issue of The Foghorn, the staff editorial titled “Can USF Help More With Internships?” opined that “USF is lackluster in their internship placements” and that “the USF system seems to be geared toward business and STEM majors.” As senior director of The Priscilla A. Scotlan Career Services Center, I was obviously disturbed when reading this piece, and I immediately reached out to Ali DeFazio, the Foghorn’s editor in chief, and Sarah Hinton, opinion editor, to arrange a meeting. Ms. DeFazio and Ms. Hinton were nothing but gracious and accommodating when we ultimately sat down to talk on Feb. 20 and I appreciate that they encouraged me to write this rebuttal.
The editorial was, as admitted by the writer, “a feelings piece.” This was concerning, because if there had been more effort made on their part to do any research or look at actual data, what the Foghorn staff would see paints a different picture than what they portrayed. For example, of the 80 employers attending the upcoming Job Fest on March 2, 21 represent the non-profit sector, 7 represent government, 6 represent healthcare and 5 represent education. The wide array of participating employers include the Oakland A’s, Macy’s, Marriott, DWA Media, KQED and Mission Neighborhood Centers. Only 10 of the companies (12.5 percent), including Yelp and Mechanics Bank, would be considered tech or finance.
Additionally, there are currently 1,435 internships posted on Handshake, Career Services’ virtual job and internship board. The Foghorn editorial specifically called out a lack of internships for students interested in politics or journalism. However, there are 70 government internships and 54 journalism internships currently posted. Unfortunately, the Foghorn staff didn’t conduct an internship search on Handshake before writing their editorial.
I am very proud that USF is one of two universities, the other being Harvard, as well as the only local school to be a member of both the UCAN and iNet internship consortiums, allowing our students exclusive Bay Area access to an additional 876 internships currently listed, including opportunities at The US-Asia Institute, The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Boston Museum of Fine Art. My hope is that more USF students will utilize these platforms to help build their professional profiles locally, nationally and globally.
Finally, Career Services’ Spring event schedule is rather diverse in its offerings. On March 8th, our Non-Profit trek includes the YMCA, the Progress Foundation and the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. On March 29, our Museum Trek features the De Young Museum as well as the California Academy of Sciences and on April 23, our inaugural Glam Trek heads to Sephora and cosmetics start-up Pinrose. On campus, we’re hosting a Careers in Government workshop on the evening of April 4. It’s understandable that in a tech and finance hub such as San Francisco, it can easily seem like most internships are geared towards a limited set of students. However, I hope that after reading the data and facts presented above, it’s clear that our office strives to serve the entire USF community and engage our students with a diverse set of opportunities. I strongly encourage students of all majors and minors to take advantage of everything that the The Career Services Center has to offer!