University of South Carolina

CIP honors outstanding student and S.C. employer

More than 100 University of South Carolina students earned valuable job experience and money while meeting needs of South Carolina businesses, thanks to the Community Internship Program launched by the university’s Career Center.

The Career Center recently recognized the success of the program and honored Sarah Langdon, a senior in the S.C. Honors College from Troy, Ohio, as the Outstanding CIP Student and Pure Fishing as the Outstanding CIP Employer for 2010.

Langdon, a senior majoring in visual communications in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, worked with Microburst Learning, a Columbia-based company that provides online skill-training courses. Langdon filmed and edited training videos on more than 20 projects.

“Since Sarah has joined us (Microburst Learning), the quality of our videos has leapfrogged over the quality of our past work,” said Ann Brown, chief operating officer of Microburst Learning. “Her ability to go into unfamiliar surroundings and capture the essence of what we needed through video or still pictures is phenomenal.”

Brown praised Langdon for her professionalism and ability and desire to learn and said that Microburst has offered Langdon permanent employment.

Shabda Bhujad of Ayrangabad, India, who is pursuing a master’s degree in human resources, presented the employer award to Pure Fishing, a Columbia-based fishing tackle company. Bhujad discussed her experiences as an intern with the human-resources team at Pure Fishing, citing staff members’ receptiveness to ideas, organization and delegation of projects, sharing of knowledge and experience, technical skill training and personal encouragement.

“Pure Fishing crafted really demanding and high-impact projects for my internship,” Bhujad said. “The human-resources team helped me build by self-confidence and assertion as an effective professional. They consistently motivated me and helped me give my best in the internship.”

Tom Halasz, director of the Career Center, said the CIP is valuable because students with work experience in their respective fields of study have significant advantages in the job market.

“The Community Internship Program (CIP) is an outstanding program, providing internships to University of South Carolina students during a time when they need them the most,” Halasz said. “Beyond the 113 internships developed through the program, many more students became aware of the importance of internships and subsequently pursued opportunities. In addition to the student benefits, local employers learned about the excellent students at the university and benefitted from matching funds available through the program.”

Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, called the program a success and thanked the employers who participated in the CIP for their passion to give students the opportunity to advance their talent and experience. Pruitt said the university would commit $200,000 to continue the pilot program in 2011.

“This program is another innovative idea that the University of South Carolina tested, and thanks to the expertise of our staff and the good will and passion of the Chamber of Commerce, local employers and our talented students, it’s been a marvelous success,” Pruitt said. “The results were such that the university simply had to find a way to reinvest in this program. It’s such a great benefit to the students and employers and to the local economy.”

Halasz said the Columbia Chamber of Commerce played an important role in fostering employer participation.

“Working with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce was an important part of the promoting the program, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in working with the chamber, said Halasz.

Halasz said the CIP was a win-win for students and employers. Funded through a one-year federal stimulus grant of $125,000, the 2010 program ensured that undergraduate and graduate students would earn at least $10 per hour and that employers were reimbursed up to half the cost of the internship. Funding for the 2011 program also will be through a one-year federal stimulus grant.

For more information about the USC Career Center, visit the website:

Community Internship Program

  • What: Opportunity for students to gain job experience and cash while helping out local businesses
  • Who: Sarah Langdon, senior majoring in visual communications, named Outstanding CIP Student; Pure Fishing named Outstanding CIP Employer

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 09/14/10 @ 1:40 PM | Updated: 09/14/10 @ 4:33 PM | Permalink