Associated Press:

Hunting for an internship takes time, and as more students realize their value, competition is getting fierce. A slew of businesses have popped up to help match students with internships, charging hundreds to thousands of dollars to help them write résumés, identify potential employers and find summer housing.

University of Dreams uses its staff’s personal contacts at 500 companies to get students internships with employers they couldn’t otherwise get into, said CEO Eric Lochtefeld. For interns, that’s better than sending in a résumé and hoping, he said.

“Does any college student really, sincerely believe that their résumé will stand out or get better consideration than an actual introduction would provide?” Lochtefeld said.

In four years, the company has placed 1,800 students in companies such as Paramount Pictures or MTV Networks, both divisions of Viacom Inc. It has slots this summer for 850 students, he said.

Students pay from $6,499 to $8,999 to have the company find them an eight-week summer internship, plus housing in dorms at universities, some meals, transportation to work and activities for a summer. Financial assistance, including loans, grants and full scholarships, is available.

An admissions team reviews applications and makes an offer. Students who are accepted pay a deposit of $500 to $1,000. Then they work with a placement agent, who finds a matching company.

They’re guaranteed an internship in the field of their choice or their money back. Most of the internships are unpaid, but University of Dreams arranges for college credit through universities.

Photo by internprograms.com.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on March 13, 2007 in Ideas.

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