Amy Bravo Assistant Dean Office: Career Services Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2008
From NYIT's Weekly Update:
The current job market has made internships and other experiential education programs attractive options for students seeking real-world experience and opportunities to make professional connections. Amy Bravo has 10 years of working in the fields of experiential education and career services, led the American Democracy Project at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and served as president of the New Jersey Cooperative Education and Internship Association. She now helps NYIT students prepare for both meaningful careers and global citizenship.
What are some of the new programs that have been implemented by the Office of Career Services? The Internship Certificate Program is a precursor to getting zero-credit internship options added to the curriculum earlier in a student’s academic career. We want to provide students access to college-supported internships even when they don’t need or can’t afford the credits. The program also supports faculty teaching internships. Faculty can refer their students to our orientations where we cover ethics/safety/professionalism in the workplace; we’ll send evaluations to internship employers and share the feedback with students and faculty; and faculty can send their students to our reflection sessions where we’ll help students extract the most meaning from their internship experience. Service-learning is a program that links classroom learning to community service. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to solving a public problem. It engages them civically and is a good retention tool.
Are you finding the current economy makes it more difficult to place interns, or are more companies eager to hire interns? Many companies have reduced their overall workforces, as well as their internship programs. However, NYIT today has more than 200 active internships posted on NYIT Career Net. We’ve seen a definite increase in the number of unpaid internships, but make a concerted effort to educate employers on how the U.S. Department of Labor defines paid vs. unpaid internships. Our efforts have increased the conversion of unpaid to paid internships by 23 percent. What is the biggest obstacle for experiential education? What is the biggest myth? The biggest obstacle is creating an awareness of what experiential education means; the experience itself should be transformative. The biggest myth is that any learning that occurs outside the classroom is considered experiential.
What is the most unique item in your office? A number 38 table sign (long story).
Who is your personal hero? My 12-year-old daughter has strength of spirit that is unusual for a girl her age. She inspires me to keep things in perspective.
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