12th Annual CIEE Global Internship Conference - Day 2

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Day two of the 12th Annual CIEE Global Internship Conference (GIC) began with the GIC Leadership Plenary titled "Bridging the Gap between Higher Education and Employers” which focused on the growing concern that universities are not adequately preparing students for the workforce. 

2024 Global Internship Conference
Plenary speakers L-R: Theresa Shearer, Dr. Anthony E. Munroe, Dr. Mary Papazian, Piers Linney, Kerry McKittrick

The panelists, who highlighted the need for new initiatives to bridge this gap amid global labor and skills shortages, were:

  • Piers Linney, Former Dragons’ Den Investor and Co-Founder, Implement AI
  • Kerry McKittrick, Co-Director, Harvard Project on Workforce (Moderator)
  • Dr. Mary Papazian, Executive Vice President, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)
  • Dr. Anthony E. Munroe, President, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Theresa Shearer, CEO, Enable

The panel tackled the question of how best to prepare students with the foundational skills they need to deal with and navigate change. “Generative AI is changing work," said Piers Linney. "The question is, how do we prepare students for a career that is constantly changing and requires re-skilling every two to three years?” 

Dr. Mary Papazian explained that colleges and universities have a responsibility to prepare students for life after education and to ensure that the talent pipeline is diverse and robust. "We need a flexible workforce," she said. "Knowing how to learn is the most important skill a graduate can have.” 

Dr. Anthony E. Munroe spoke about the importance of nurturing inclusion in global internship programs. "You must invite [students] in," he said. " Students often don’t see themselves as qualified for internships... or belonging to the global workforce or global economy. The message we share with BMCC students is 'You belong. You may not have ever left Brooklyn or the Bronx, you may not even have a passport, but you belong.'"

Following the plenary, attendees gathered for the CIEE Global Internship Industry Partner Award Ceremony, recognizing exceptional partnerships between academic institutions and industry leaders. 

2024 Global Internship Conference
Finalists and winners of the CIEE Global Internship Industry Partners Awards with Jim Pellow (left) and Linda Liu (right)

In accepting the award for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Global Perspectives at Work , Jesús Abellan of Fundació per l’Esport i L’Educació de Barcelona (FEEB) said: “Internships are not just about the work the interns can do, but the long-lasting relationships developed between host company and intern.” 

The late morning session featured GIC Ideation Roundtables, where attendees explored various themes, such as aligning career services and international offices to support global talent development and understanding the expectations of Generation Z in the workplace.

Participants then enjoyed a networking lunch in the Tower Foyer, with a special "University Lunch & Learn" session hosted by the U.S. Department of State, discussing the impact of BridgeUSA programs (J-1 Visa) on global cultural exchange. Speakers were Rebecca Pasini, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Karin King, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs, U.S. Embassy, London.

The afternoon sessions delved into critical topics such as AI's impact on the future of work and the alignment of global talent and immigration policies. Speakers shared insights on how generative AI is reshaping industries and the complex interplay between immigration policies and global talent mobility.

The afternoon also included lively World Café sessions, each featuring two 30-minute discussions facilitated by peers and attendees from across the world on top-of-mind topics related to a conference theme. The themes for these sessions were:

  • Challenges & Potential Approaches to Address Inclusion & Access Gaps in Global Experiential Learning
  • Mobility Trends & Approaches to Talent Development
  • Trends Shaping the Future of Work & Implications for Global Experiential Learning

The day wrapped up with an-depth discussion on managing global interns, featuring best practices for maximizing their potential. A panel of host partners shared how they create life-altering professional experiences for young people from diverse backgrounds as part of their ongoing commitment to foster cultural exchange through internships. Attendees walked away from the session with tangible resources they can utilize to establish global internships at their organization. 

The evening reception at the CIEE London Center's Montague Gardens offered a perfect end to the day, with participants enjoying British garden party-inspired refreshments and engaging in informal networking.