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By Brittany Smythe
BSBA Marketing ’11

In January, the Eller College launched the first offering of its new corporate connections initiative to give current Eller students practical career experience and keep recent grads connected to their alma mater.

The January pilot program out of L.A. aimed to expose corporations to top Eller talent and provide students with a day in the field. Twelve undergraduate students participated in an externship experience with nine corporations, including Mattel, Warner Bros.,Oppenheimer, and Radio Disney. The program emphasized career opportunities for current students and allowed alumni to give back beyond financial gifts.

“I thought that it would be a good opportunity to provide some entrepreneurial insight to future graduates of my alma mater,” says Gerry Morton, CEO and president of Energy First. “I feel like I have a lot to share and enjoyed having the chance to help and encourage those who are just getting started on their path.” 

The externships provide a means for employers and students to connect beyond the traditional interview format, and could give recruiters better insight into whether a student would be a good fit for a summer internship or full-time position after graduation.

Stephanie Garibay, a marketing senior who aims to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, shadowed Warner Bros. employees during her externship.   

“I learned more than I expected after attending my externship,” she says. “I found out how online promotions for films coming to DVD or TV work. I feel like the experience has given me an advantage in talking with potential employers,” says Garibay.

The College is working to create a large networking pool of alumni in key geographic regions for current students, as they prepare to launch their own careers. Additional externship events in Chicago and San Diego occurred over UA spring break.