Bellarmine University has enhanced its career development programs
to guarantee students internship opportunities and connect graduates with rewarding jobs, thanks in part to two recent grants from local foundations.
The grants - from the James Graham Brown Foundation
and the Ogle Foundation
- support a four-year undergraduate focus on career development through alumni mentoring, courses that emphasize exploring careers and preparing for internships, and a new summer internship program that provides stipends for students who complete an unpaid internship.
“When choosing a college, students have plenty of options,” said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president. “Those who choose Bellarmine have high expectations and are willing to work hard to succeed. We honor their investment in quality by guaranteeing access to internships, helping them outline a career plan, and giving them access to an extensive professional network before they graduate. We’re grateful to the James Graham Brown Foundation and the Ogle Foundation for helping us expand these important initiatives that will deliver better-prepared graduates into the region’s workforce.”
The Brown Foundation grant supported hiring two additional Career Development employees to expand these services and created grants to support students in unpaid nonprofit internships in Louisville, while the Ogle Foundation grant extended those grants into Southern Indiana’s nonprofits.
Bellarmine’s growing emphasis on career development is already paying off for students and recent graduates. A survey of last year’s graduates shows that 99 percent are working or continuing their higher education. Among the 2017 graduates in the workforce, the survey found that bachelor’s degree recipients are earning an average of $43,000, while graduate degree recipients are earning an average of $68,000.
Bellarmine’s focus on blending the value of a liberal arts education with extensive career preparation includes:
- Two courses for credit on exploring career pathways and preparing for successful internships.
- A tuition-free summer internship opportunity for credit.
- Grants for students pursuing unpaid internship opportunities at nonprofit organizations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
- A professional mentoring program pairing students with a Bellarmine graduate in their career field of interest.
- Professional skill-building seminars offered to all students throughout the year.
“Bellarmine’s career development initiatives support our efforts to grow Louisville’s economy through the addition of talented, work-ready graduates for high-wage jobs,” said Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, chief of Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development agency. “Employers are seeking college graduates with real experience in their field and the workplace, and Bellarmine is ensuring students graduate with relevant work experience and in-demand career skills through internships and other experiential learning.”
The survey of last year’s graduates, conducted by Bellarmine’s Career Development Center with an 81 percent response rate, found 73 percent of graduates stayed in Louisville, although new graduates can be found working or studying in 26 U.S. states and two other nations. Seventy percent of undergrad degree recipients completed at least one internship for credit, and 91 percent of new graduates in the workforce are already working in their career field of interest.
For more information about Bellarmine’s internship guarantee, visit https://www.bellarmine.edu/studentaffairs/careercenter/guarantee/