Our mission is to recruit talented college students for summer internships and a unique immersion into the community with the ultimate goal of having graduates build networks and permanently locate in Greater Cleveland.
Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) is all about exposing the best young talent to the abundance of professional opportunities in Northeast Ohio. It’s a unique summer internship program open to students who are rising juniors, rising seniors and recent graduates and attend one of our eight partner schools: Case Western Reserve, Colgate, Cornell, Denison, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Smith, and University of Chicago. The program brings together 50-70 students for an intensive summer immersion program designed to help interns explore the professional, civic & social offerings of the Cleveland area. SOTC offers students challenging internships, community introductions, alumni connections & group housing for the summer. In 2019, 31 employers participated in the intern program.
The cornerstone of the program is high-quality, 8-week, 9-week and 10-week summer internships (private, nonprofit and public). The program seeks to offer a wide range of positions in a plethora of industries that showcase the diversity of employment opportunities in Greater Cleveland. A few of our past employers include BioEnterprise, Cuyahoga Community College, DDR Corp., JumpStart, KeyBank, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Karamu House and The Music Settlement. New opportunities are offered each year.
The program sponsors a series of programs and events during the summer to enhance the students’ understanding of and experience in Greater Cleveland. Events include discussions with political and business leaders, cultural and social offerings, community service opportunities, and community connections through alumni gatherings.
Students are paired with local alumni hosts to help them adjust to Cleveland, and to serve as additional connections for them to the community. Hosts can serve as role models for the students as they demonstrate the balance of work, family, organizational commitments, and civic leadership. Finally, hosts act as recruiters to help bring students back to Greater Cleveland.
To assist students and give the group a sense of cohesiveness, the program offers free housing for all SOTC interns in Fenn Tower on the campus of Cleveland State University (CSU). Group housing on the campus of CSU is available for nine weeks. Students who accept longer internships will be invited to stay with local alumni, “Homestay Families,” for their additional time in Greater Cleveland.
Driven by a collaborative effort among local alumni volunteers from the respective institutions, SOTC has attracted recognition as an effective civic development initiative. In partnership with employers and community leaders, the program showcases the region’s abundant opportunities to the student participants. The goal is to attract talented graduates for full-time positions in the region.