The Career Development Office (CDO), located in Alexander Hall, just west of the Smith Campus Center, provides a variety of resources for finding internships, summer employment, full-time/post-graduate and gap year opportunities in addition to fellowship, graduate, and professional school information. Career Advisors assist students with seeking ways to connect their unique experiences with the value of their liberal arts education to facilitate informed choices regarding their professional aspirations. This process involves multiple steps: assessment, exploration, skill development, and post graduate search implementation. In addition to the advising that students receive to help them through the process, the CDO facilitates workshops on a variety of career topics, frequently including alumni guest speakers who have the shared perspective of a Pomona education plus lessons learned from beyond the campus gates.
Appreciating that internships are an integral part of gaining work-related experience, the CDO assists students in their search for internships, whether it is during the academic year or the summer. The CDO provides numerous resources to help students obtain internships, including an extensive database, online subscriptions to various industry specific sources and membership in the Liberal Arts Career Network, a consortium of 39 nationally ranked, highly selective liberal arts institutions.
The CDO assesses internship options and can approve a transcript notation indicating that the internship may be valued as one-half course credit by schools which award graduation credit for internships. Pomona College does not award graduation credit for stand-alone (non-course-based) internships. In order for the transcript notation to be approved, students are required to complete a reflection summary paper and return a final evaluation from their internship sponsor. Certain organizations will only hire interns with this means of remuneration. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available for international students.
The Pomona College Recruiting Program is national in scope. As a part of The Claremont Colleges joint on-campus recruiting program, students are exposed to various employers and graduate programs. The joint program allows Pomona students access to employers, representatives, or workshops offered at any of The Claremont Colleges. Our web-based recruiting and career information system, Handshake, is the gateway to internships, full-time and part-time positions, on-campus jobs, graduate schools, career-related information and more. Full-time, part-time, summer jobs and internships are also available through password-protected databases that students can access either through Handshake or by contacting the office.
To broaden the opportunities for our students, the CDO collaborates with peer colleges across the nation. The CDO is a member of the Career and Internship Consortium (CIC) and the Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN). These consortia, coupled with our partnership in The Claremont Colleges joint on-campus recruiting program, provide our students with access to over 30,000 jobs and internships postings, and over 350 on-campus events (interviews, information sessions, career fairs) annually.
The office communicates with students through a number of channels. The CDO weekly e-newsletter, Sneak Peek of the Week, lists forthcoming events, alumni and major spotlights, as well as internship, fellowship, and job opportunities. The CDO Listservs send targeted email messages to students pertaining to jobs, internships and workshops. Finally, the office maintains the CDO website, which offers a wide variety of online career resources and tips as well as other valuable career site links including the Handshake calendar, which features career event listings for all Claremont campuses. Students with a LinkedIn account can join the Pomona Career Connections and Pomona Alumni groups to connect directly with Pomona alumni in discussions about career advice and current job openings.
Pomona College Internship Program
The Career Development Office offers two distinguished internship programs — the Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP Semester) and Summer Experience (PCIP Summer Experience). Both programs aid students in the process of exploring and determining a career path, gaining a rich understanding of a particular field and/or organization, building and growing their professional networks, and enhancing the understanding of how their liberal arts education will be applied in a professional work environment.
Developed in 1976, PCIP Semester provides students with a generous stipend to pursue part-time, unpaid experiential learning opportunities with employers in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. Students who successfully complete their internships and required program assignments also receive a transcript notation. Internships must be secured at the time of application and applications are typically due two weeks into the fall/spring semesters.
In the fall 2018-spring2019 academic year, 112 students participated in the program and pursued a variety of experiential learning opportunities across a range of industries. Internship sites included non-profits, start-ups, medical service centers, local businesses, and research institutes.
PCIP: Summer Experience
Since 2011, the Career Development Office has offered funding for unpaid or low-paid international and domestic summer internships to encourage students to explore diverse career fields. The funding helps alleviate financial barriers for living and travel expenses for a 6-to-8- week summer experience.
The application process is rigorous and consists of an application, budget proposal, resume, cover letter, short essay responses, references, and a panel interview with a selection committee of Pomona College faculty and staff. Important timelines/deadlines are announced in the fall semester.
In summer 2019, 100 students received funding for internships in 50 cities across the globe, including roles at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Pacific Forum in Honolulu, and UNESCO in Greece. Awards ranged from $700 to $6,000, thanks to this past year’s generous gifts to the summer internship program from alumni, parents and foundations.