Can’t find an internship? University of Dreams, an internship consulting program that claims to find internships for 99 percent of applicants, will help you out – for a price.
Students pay between $6,179 and $8,239 as well as a $500 or $1,000 deposit if the company finds them a two-month internship program – about as much as a year’s room and board at the University.
One hundred and eight University of Michigan students – more than from any other college in the country – have paid for the service.
Amy Hoag, coordinator of internship services at the University’s Career Center, said the service isn’t worth it.
She said students shouldn’t have to pay to find an internship, though she acknowledged that programs like University of Dreams are effective.
Hoag said the Career Center will help students find that perfect summer job – whether at a television show in New York or a wildlife organization in Nebraska.
“We are willing to coach students,” she said.
Eric Lochtefeld, CEO of the company, said University students aren’t any lazier or unconnected that students at other colleges, though.
“They are aware of what’s available at the career center,” Lochtefeld said. “They are aware of ways to get their own internships, but they specifically want something that we have.”
He said half of University of Dreams’s customers are Midwestern college students looking for a big-city internship. The program allows students to pick between internships in New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Barcelona.
“They really want to experience that city life,” Lochtefeld said.
The company does offer several other perks.
It has connections at hundreds of prominent businesses like MTV, Time and Merrill Lynch. The program helps students meet their potential employers – while many other applicants apply online and disappear into what Lochtefeld calls “the black hole.”
It also supplies housing and meals for students.
Hoag said the Career Center can help students with internships find housing even if they don’t participate in a University program. She also said the Career Center has all the same contacts that internship consultants do.
“Our students tend to be fairly resourceful, but we’re happy to help them,” Hoag said.
School of Business sophomore Jen Pollack said she has conducted her search for finance and investment banking internships without much help from the Ross School of Business. Pollack said she wouldn’t use a company like University of Dreams because she wouldn’t want to spend money for an internship.
Pollack said she went to the University’s Career Center for help with her resume and cover letter but researched internships on her own.
Although she hasn’t yet been offered a position, Pollack said she’s not worried about getting an internship. She said she’ll take a volunteer position if she doesn’t receive a job offer.
“If I don’t get paid, that’s one thing,” Pollack said. “But I don’t want to pay to get one.”