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Newly Endowed Fund Opening Doors to Internships

Yash Desai BA ’15, a Davis United World Scholar, interned with Aginsky Consulting Group while...Yash Desai BA ’15, a Davis United World Scholar, interned with Aginsky Consulting Group while a student at Lewis & Clark.

In today’s highly competitive job market, employers value internships more than ever. Many Fortune 500 companies—and smaller companies too—see internships as important validation of a candidate’s academic experience, skill set, and work ethic.

Students also benefit by having an opportunity to explore different career options prior to graduation. As a rising senior at Lewis & Clark, Yash Desai BA ’15 interned with Aginsky Consulting Group, a boutique investment advisory firm in Portland. “One of the most amazing things is that I got an all-around view of the firm’s activities,” says Desai, reflecting on his summer experience. “I was involved in contacting brokers, compiling deal books, conducting due diligence on acquisition targets, creating property valuation reports, and working with a team on a back-end interface for the firm’s website.”

Such vivid experiential learning helps our students turn aspirations into achievements while refining their academic and career goals. Desai, for example, now develops business relationships in Asia and the Pacific Islands for global distributor Bridgewell Resources.

While some companies and nonprofits pay interns, others do not. As a result, students without the economic means to take an unpaid position are at a disadvantage.

The parents of a recent College of Arts and Sciences graduate are doing their part to change that dynamic. This couple, who wish to remain anonymous, have donated $100,000 to establish Lewis & Clark’s first endowed internship fund. The fund will provide financial support to undergraduates who pursue an internship related to economics or entrepreneurship, primarily in Portland or the Pacific Northwest.

“These generous donors are grateful for the education their son received. They hope to inspire others to support this internship fund or make similar gifts,” says Josh Walter, vice president for institutional advancement. “They see the value of develop- ing practical business skills in conjunction with a liberal arts education.”

Lewis & Clark’s Career Center develops and administers student internship opportunities, including the annually funded Stephanie Fowler and Irving Levin Summer Internship Awards (Yash Desai was a Fowler-Levin intern) and the Miller Internship Awards. This past summer, Fowler-Levin awards funded 11 student internships and Miller awards supported 15.

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