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Published: Monday, 3/18/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

UT sponsors site to match students, firms

Goal: Keep more Ohio-educated talent in-state

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

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The University of Toledo is getting into the match-making business today with Detroit-based Digerati.

But instead of matching college students up with love interests, the two will focus on being better career match-makers.

The university and the tech firm have announced the launch of an online program called Intern in Ohio. They said it is a career placement and economic development version of popular Internet match-making services, such as eHarmony.

Using computer algorithm technology, Intern in Ohio is designed to remove the guesswork of who’s best suited for internships that companies offer. The goal is to help connect more college students with prospective employers and keep more Ohio-educated talent in the Buckeye State, said Larry Burns, UT vice president for external affairs.

Intern in Ohio is programmed to help students find employers who best fit their skill sets and interests. The theory is that more students prosper when they’re in the right job, which benefits both them and the businesses which offer the internships.

More details will be made available at an event scheduled for 10 a.m. in the northeast corner of UT’s Memorial Field House.

Intern in Ohio is modeled after Intern in Michigan, a similar program that began in Michigan in November, 2011. Over the last 12 months, the latter has offered 5,000 internships to 20,000 Michigan college students, said Brian Balasia, Digerati chief executive officer.

Mr. Balasia said the success of the program won’t be the number of internships, but how it fine-tunes matches. Smaller companies especially have a harder time identifying students who are the best fit and vice versa. Companies tend to hire 65 to 70 percent of interns who work out for them, he said.

To register, students and businesses need to visit internohio.com to sign up, create a profile, or post internships. Both are asked to answer questions and list preferences. The system generates the top seven matches for each student and business.

The program will be open to all Ohio students and businesses. UT’s incentive is more online branding, Mr. Burns said.

“Experiential learning has never been more important for today’s college students to gain that valuable experience and be ready for opportunities after graduation,” said Scott Scarborough, UT provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The online system is designed to complement, not replace, more traditional ways that universities have arranged internships between students and companies.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079.



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