Post CEIA Conference and What’s next for Virtual Internships

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the annual CEIA Conference in Chicago, IL this past week.  CEIA stands for the Cooperative Education and Internship Association.

The conference was primarily attended by co-operative education and internship coordinators across the U.S. and Canada, as well as a few employers, including some from Disney.  I also presented our latest White Paper on Virtual Internships to a very responsive group.  They especially appreciated hearing real stories about all of our virtual interns‘ experiences working remotely.

While in Chicago I finally got to meet in person Michael True, of Intern Qubeand Director of the Internships Center at Messiah College.  Michael is an integral player in the internship discussion and has been an ongoing adviser to Intern Profits.

CEIA Conference

Founder Dreama Lee with Michael True of Intern Qube and Messiah College

I was also able to meet with Graciela Kenig, the internships coordinator at Depaul University’s College of Communications.  I met with Graciela early in my trip to discuss how Intern Profits can further work with DePaul to develop their formal virtual internship curriculum and partner with our employers to place virtual interns.  More details on the next steps will be released in the next few weeks.

Graciela also joined me for my presentation and lent some insight from the schools’ perspective on virtual internships and the role they play for students as well as how they are impacting the new worker entering the workforce.

I also participated in several round table discussions, including one held by Kelly Harper, Co-Op Coordinator at Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State and CEIA Board member, on social media.  It was interesting to hear what the schools are and are not doing around social media.  Intern Profits offered to share their Quick Start Kit on Social Media with all the attendees at the conference to help them better understand how to use social media on their campuses.

CEIA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL

Founder Dreama Lee & CEIA Board Member & Co-op Coordinator - Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, Kelly Harper

[Stay tuned for more information as well on an upcoming Easy Intern Assignment on the new look of Facebook].

Overall the discussions around virtual internships were positive and many individuals spoke to me personally that they are interested in helping to formalize the process at their schools.   If you are interested in downloading my presentation you can do so here.

I ended my stay in Chicago with a meeting with Dan Gershon who recently wrote a fantastic blog post on the value of internships in response to all the negative publicity internships and most importantly unpaid internships has been receiving.   Dan is a brand strategist and content marketing expert.  I’m pleased to announce he is going to be our Brand and Marketing Strategy Expert Faculty Member for an upcoming Easy Intern Assignment to add to our growing library of Easy Intern Assignments.

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