Internship program launches for women over 40

The four-week program comes with a full curriculum including homework

(Credit: CNN)
(Credit: CNN)

(CNN) – If you mention the word “intern” who would you expect to see? Probably somebody in their late teens, or early 20s, at the start of their career. A PR firm in New York had a different idea.

These women are perhaps the most over-qualified class of interns you’ll ever come across, though that is only part of their story.

According to Denise Capparell, “It was very difficult for me to get a job as a full-time teacher, every time I applied for a job I was overlooked, and it seemed to me that they were looking for younger women. I’m a single mom, I need to get out there back into the workforce and find what I really want to do again.”

It’s stories like this that led PR execs Dara Kaplan and Gwen Wunderlich to set up this program.

Public Relations Executives Wunderlich founder Dara Kaplan said, “A lot of family and friends had been coming to us talking about how hard it is to reenter the workforce, and then one weekend Gwen had watched a movie that kind of sparked the whole idea.”

Wunderlich noted, “I really thought I need a Robert DeNiro in my life. I need someone who’s calming, tactical, somebody else to bring something to the table and we just felt women over 40 really had that.”

They called it “the enternship” – a play on re-entering the workforce – and began training women in the world of modern public relations. Lesson one: social media.

According to Kaplan, “A few years ago when you took a break to have a child or jump careers things didn’t move as quickly. Now you take a week off and there’s a new social media platform that launched yesterday.”

The four-week program comes with a full curriculum including homework and recommended reading, and the best thing of all, the interns get issued with this regulation notebook.

For several of these “enterns” that title already applies. After a successful career in journalism – and raising four daughters – Molly Williamson set up her own documentary production company.

Williamson said, “Even though I knew what I was doing as far as my product, I don’t know how to market it. I don’t really feel 60, I don’t think many women feel their age, the problem is the world looks at you a certain way.”

That’s what this small group is hoping to change.

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