Minority internship program celebrates 10 years

Gabriella DiPietro | Staff Writer


In 2007, Duquesne’s human resources department created the Minority Development Internship Program in order to promote a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Now, they are celebrating 10 years of success and job placement.

The Minority Development Internship Program works to provide college-educated minorities with employment opportunities. These interns, after being placed within various departments of the university, are able to develop their professional skills.

These internships are compensated, full-time positions that can last either one or two years, with the goal of permanently hiring the intern at Duquesne by the end of their internship.

Marla Bradford, a senior employment recruiter at Duquesne, detailed how the program operates and aims to provide interns with experience in multiple departments of the university.

“Human resources work with the participating departments to identify projects or short-term assignments on which interns can work,” Bradford said.

She explained that the participants are then moved around to several departments.

“Interns are then placed for a three- to six-month rotation in one department before being moved to another department for the same amount of time. Each intern can potentially work in up to eight different departments over the course of a two-year appointment,” she said.

Bradford also outlined the evaluation process that each of the program interns will go through.

“Interns are evaluated after each rotation in several job performance areas — attitude,
dependability, flexibility, quality of work, quantity of work and attendance/punctuality,” said Bradford.

Interns will also have benchmarks set for them.

“In addition, intern supervisors provided a summary review and goals for the next 30 days and recommendations for improvement. Areas in need of improvement are addressed through training sessions and mentorships,” she said.

According to Bradford, 25 individuals from underrepresented groups have gone through the
program, and of those 25, 19 finished the internship and 16 obtained a permanent full-time
position at the university.

The Minority Development Internship Program has helped to provide minorities with full-time employment and improve the minority retention rates at Duquesne.

“The program has proven successful in strengthening Duquesne’s commitment to endorse an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity and attracts, develops and retains talented employees of all backgrounds,” Bradford said.

“The Minority Development Internship Program has been extraordinarily successful,” said
Duquesne’s President Ken Gormley in a statement to The Duke. “Under the leadership of Marla Bradford, the program has brought to light talented individuals who have enriched virtually every aspect of our university Community.”

“Our new Strategic Plan calls for creating a vibrant campus community and fostering the
achievements of our talented staff,” said Gormley.

He said that the program has helped begin to create the campus that the Strategic Plan aims for.

“In the 10 years since it was founded, the Minority Development Internship Program has contributed greatly to this important goal. I’m looking forward to the even greater success as the program produces and nurtures new talent in the decades to come.”

More information on the program can be found by contacting Marla Bradford at bradfordm845@duq.edu or by going to Duquesne’s website.