Ryan Forster, a senior Economics major at the University of San Diego, doesn’t know exactly what the job market has in store for him in May 2011, but he does understand the value of his summer internship experience in Washington, D.C.
“You need things like an internship to help set you apart,” said Forster, who spent eight weeks with Tax Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that educates taxpayers about tax issues of concern to them. “I assimilated and have learned the inner workings of how the organization is run.”
The internship was connected through The Fund for American Studies (TFAS). Forster received a $2,500 scholarship from TFAS, took two summer courses at Georgetown University and stayed in a dorm. He enjoyed opportunities to network and gain contacts. He wrote a story about California’s escalating taxation on cell phone usage that was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune in July.
“It was a dream come true,” he said.
Forster also expressed appreciation for Albert P. Carey, president and CEO of Frito-Lay North America, whose $75,000 gift created the USD School of Business Administration’s summer internship fund for undergraduate business and MBA students. Started in 2010, the goal is to assist approximately 10 students each summer through 2012. Forster received $2,000 from the fund, the maximum for an undergraduate student. MBA students can get up to $3,000. Business students who get an internship — paid or unpaid — and are returning to USD in the fall, are eligible.
“USD’s business school has made great strides in recent years,” Carey said. “I am confident that developing an internship fund will be another step toward making it one of the top schools in the nation. I have seen firsthand the important benefits that internships provide, both to students and employers.”
It made a difference for Forster. “When I looked at the overall cost of the program and my living expenses, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. Without the internship fund, I wouldn’t have been able to go.”