LDS missionaries create career opportunities for students

In a time of economic downturn, Latter-day Saint missionaries are giving college students a head start on their careers.

Brigham Young University-Idaho is utilizing service missionary couples in 13 U.S. "hub cities" to create internship and career opportunities for students. BYU-Idaho requires nearly every student to gain hands-on experience through an academic internship, resulting in more than 3,000 interns each year.

"We've found most of the students are very motivated, and it only takes a modest amount of information and guidance to set them on the right path," said Steve Zollinger, Internship and Career Services Director at BYU-Idaho. Zollinger works with a full-time missionary couple at the university to supervise the Hub Cities project. They stay in constant contact with missionaries in all the Hub Cities to keep updated on work being done throughout the nation.

The senior missionaries in each hub city work 10-20 hours a week in their hometown, making and maintaining contacts with potential internship providers and employers for BYU-Idaho students. They expand the number of companies open to BYU-Idaho interns and then stay in touch with employers during each internship to make sure things are going well. They also make the experience more pleasant for BYU-Idaho interns by assisting with housing needs, providing firesides and extending a helping hand to students far away from home. Since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started calling these missionaries four years ago, their efforts have blessed the lives of hundreds of students and employers, in turn blessing the lives of the missionaries too.

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