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Meredith Mason 

Princeton Review has ranked Bentley University the No. 1 college for internship opportunities in the United States as part of their 2017 edition of “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give you the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.” Bentley University Career Services, which works extensively to help students secure internships and full-time positions after graduation, was also ranked No. 1 by Princeton review in fall 2016.

The annual “Colleges That Pay You Back” guide highlights institutions Princeton Review considers to be the nation’s best for academics, affordability/financial aid and for getting graduates out the door to satisfying and rewarding careers.

In addition to their detailed school profiles and ranking lists, the guide also contains a list of “Great Schools for the Highest Paying Majors.” Bentley is listed among the “Highest Paying Majors: Finance” which was called out by Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief Rob Franek on the Today Show.

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“We are thrilled to be recognized by Princeton Review for the internship opportunities that we provide to our students,” says Associate Vice President of University Career Services Susan Brennan. “At Bentley, we have made it an institutional priority to facilitate these critical, experiential learning opportunities that allow students to gain work experience that complements their studies, while providing them a competitive advantage when they enter the job market.”

Each year, Bentley’s Career Services department posts nearly 3,000 internship opportunities for students, both during the school year and over the summer. Ninety-three percent of Bentley students complete at least one internship and 71 percent complete more than one during their time at Bentley.

Growing importance of college internships

In today’s competitive job market, internships are no longer seen as a nice-to-have for students applying to full-time positions after graduation, but a necessity.

According to a 2015 survey from NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an employer was far more likely to offer a job to a student prior to graduation if he or she had an internship or co-op—especially a paid position. In addition to creating job opportunities, internships also allow students to learn the type of work they enjoy and, maybe more importantly, what they don’t like.

“Today’s mantra for companies is recruit once and hire twice,” shares Brennan. “Internships serve as a 60-day trial period and allow employers (and candidates) to assess fit before making a long-term commitment.”

Innovative career services model

Bentley University Career Services structures its undergraduate program according to a four-step process called HIRE Education. Each step— Explore, Experiment, Experience and Excel – corresponds with one year in students’ four-year college experience.

For example, freshmen and transfer students are offered a career development introduction course (CDI 101) focused on job search readiness and making a connection with a career advisor. While the course is not required, it boasts over 95 percent enrollment among students who rave of its success.

Students can customize their four year plan and take advantage of additional programing such as:

  • Career Communities: The Career Communities model expands students’ awareness of the many functional roles, employer organizations and industries that can align with their unique strengths and interests. Instead of focusing on individual majors, these programs connect students with faculty, alumni, parents and friends who have similar professional interests.
  • Career Colleague Program: The Career Colleague program matches sophomores with an upper-class student who can assist them with career preparation skills. Colleagues are available to work with students on resume development, mock internship interviews and refining career goals. The program gives upper-class students the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills by providing mentorship to their fellow Bentley students.
  • Bentley Career Fair: Career fairs are held on campus twice per year and connect students with top employers for potential jobs or internships. Bentley’s career fairs attract 125-plus employers and more than 1,000 undergraduate students.

Thanks to Bentley’s Office for Career Services, 98 percent of undergraduates consistently report employment or graduate school plans within six months of graduation.

About Colleges That Pay You Back

The Colleges That Pay You Back project is an expansion of The Princeton Review's annual Best Value Colleges book and list first published online in 2004. The Princeton Review selected these schools based on a comprehensive analysis of more than 650 colleges that weighted 40+ data points to tally ROI (return on investment) ratings for the schools. Data analyzed covered academics, cost, financial aid, graduation rates, student debt and more. The company collected that data from its 2015-16 surveys of administrators and students at the schools. It also factored in data from collected from their online compensation survey on starting and mid-career salaries of alumni of the schools.

For more information on Princeton Review’s latest rankings click here.