Internships are driving factors that highlights any college student’s resume for a job. Employers are looking for recent graduates who have experience. So, what’s stopping students from applying? And who is helping these students prep for these internships?
Over the summer of 2019, twelve PCCC students, with the help of Bridges to Baccalaureate, has received a paid research internship from different universities in the United States.
Universities such as Rutgers, University of North Texas and even Stanford University has taken students and helped them gain experiences through the B2B program.
Sebastian Plasencia, a Biology Major, has received an internship in Geomicrobiology at Rutgers University--Newark.
“I learned a lot about geology and mineralogy and I learned that the transformation that occurs in the minerals-- that was like proof of the environment that the rocks were in…” said Plasencia.
Not all internships, that were given, are the same. While Plasencia learned about Geomicrobiology, other students such as Jose Serra, a Physical Science major, learned about physics at Kean University and another student, Elias Trejo, an engineering major, learned about Geophysics at Rutgers University--Newark.
“Something--well that I learn from the experience was that you don’t have to be a genius or you have to be gifted to do research, a lot of times people don’t put themselves out there, thinking that they don’t have what it takes to do research at a higher level institution--it's not like you’re required to have a foundation of knowledge for that type of research...so if you don’t know something, that’s fine--just research it!..” said Trejo.
B2B internships are looking for students who are willing to learn and do research to further their career in the STEM field.
“Always carry an open mind and when you're doing an internship, you gotta be willing to pay the dues to say, I’m not gonna let a professor or a faculty member, where I’m studying, let me down because they're not present all the time or they’re not doing this, because at the end of the day it’s a learning experience, so make do with the skills you have,” said Serra.
Many of the students got help from faculty that are involved with the B2B program such as Thomas Van Aken and Dr. Kala Mayur, who were credited into helping students in receiving many of the internships.
The Northern New Jersey Bridges to the Baccalaureate (NNJ--B2B) Alliance is a partnership of five, public, associate-degree granting hispanic serving institutions (HSis) in Northern New Jersey committed to assisting underrepresented minority students in successful transferring into a baccalaureate STEM degree program.