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Gallup-Purdue Index: Internship Effectiveness Increasing, But Still Lagging

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

University officials say more than half of Purdue students partake in internship-related experiences, but numbers from the Gallup-Purdue Index say most of them don’t matter much.

The Index shows 29-percent of the nearly 30,000 graduates surveyed nationwide agree their internship experience allowed them to apply what they learned in the workforce.

Purdue fares a little better, with about a third of its students similarly satisfied. But that still means a majority could be doing more meaningful work outside the classroom.

Purdue Center for Career Opportunities Director Tim Luzader (loo-ZAY-dur) says his group is working with other department representatives to target internships better, so students get more out of them.

“There’s structured task forces addressing that but there’s also ways that we continue to look at how to improve,” Luzader says.

Luzader says some companies report converting as much as 85-percent of their interns to full-time employees. But the Gallup numbers appear to show most of those people still need additional on-the-job training, even if they’ve been an intern at the company previously.

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