Summer on the Cuyahoga internship accepting students

372,624 people call Cleveland, Ohio home, making it the 54th most populous city in the United States. It hosts a variety of attractions including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cuyahoga River, which has caught on fire a number of 13 times.

Cleveland also hosts the Summer on the Cuyahoga internship program, an internship and immersion program for college students.

“Art to aerospace, and everything in between,” is how Jim Fitch, Director of Career Education, described the range of internship opportunities available to those who apply and are accepted.

“Every single (SOTC) internship is paid, so students are paid,” Fitch said. “Housing is provided. It’s a wraparound program so this is truly an internship program where not only are students completing the work, but there are professional development seminars. There are recreational events, so one weekend students might be going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, another weekend they might be going to a professional baseball game and another weekend they might be going to the lake. So lots of recreational opportunities, as well as professional development. Students will have basically a buffet of opportunities.”

With Cleveland having so many opportunities for professional and career development in a multitude of fields, such as internships with the aforementioned Cleveland Museum of Art as well as NASA, which has a large research center in Cleveland.

Summer On The Cuyahoga runs from June to August  and accepts students from several colleges, mainly in Ohio, such as Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin and now Allegheny. Allegheny was accepted into the program by unanimous decision by the SOTC Board of Directors, after a nearly year long process by the college to become a part of the program. The program was brought to the College’s attention by alumnus Sean Ward, ’89, who also paid the fee that is required for the school to join the program.

The alumni connection is a major part of the program, with alumni in the Cleveland area acting as a support system for students who spend their summer in the program.

“Each student will have at least one, and hopefully two, members of our Cleveland alumni connected to them and basically serving as a family away from home,” said Sara Pineo, Senior Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement, who spearheaded Allegheny’s joining of SOTC. “They’ll be the person to take you out for coffee and check in with you. There’s already a built-in community structure that will be there.”

Allegheny has an alumni regional chapter in Cleveland with 1,300 alumni in the Cleveland area available to help and support students who are accepted into the program, with the alumni volunteers acting as a bridge between the student and the city they will occupy for the summer.

Joining SOTC is not the only step toward professional development for students and encouraging greater alumni relations that Allegheny has taken recently. Over the summer the college rolled out the Gator2Gator website which allows students to directly reach out to alumni for the purposes of looking for internships and other professional development. More endeavours like this are in the works, however the focus on career preparedness is not meant to take away from Allegheny’s ethos as a liberal arts institution.

“We’re definitely not moving away from our liberal arts strengths,” Pineo said. “We firmly believe that students who are equipped with an education at Allegheny College are going to be key players in career markets and higher ed and other areas. There’s going to be so many great opportunities for those individuals.

The housing will be provided by Case Western Reserve University as well as Cleveland State University, which is meant to allow students to get to know one another and network with not only professionals and alumni, but also other students — an emphasis of the program.

The internship will allow five students from Allegheny to participate this year, with each student being able to work at the place of their choosing. While there is a fee to participate, that fee will be recouped within the first week of the internship.

The multitude of opportunities presented by this program have only just begun to be revealed with more information coming out as summertime approaches. There will be an information session for interested students on Nov. 4 as well as a visit from the head of the program in December.