Since she was hired 3 months ago, Annie Frisoli, the Coordinator of College of the Desert’s new International Internship Program has been recruiting valley organizations and businesses to participate in the program that will launch in January.
So far Frisoli has had 30 partners sign on.
“The purpose of the program is to bring international interns to the Coachella Valley area, introduce them to a local area business where they will gain work experience that supports their major at what their majoring at in their home country,” said Frisoli.
James Canfield, the Executive Director of the Palm Springs Convention Center and Bureau of Tourism didn’t need any convincing to get in on the program. He has used students from other countries as interns in the past and knows how it can be a win-win situation.
“Not only is it a great learning ground for the students that want to come in and have an interest in the hospitality industry, but they also bring a lot of value to us because they bring an international perspective to the sales and marketing efforts that we’re doing,” said Canfield.
The duration of the internships will run anywhere from 4 to 6 months with students logging 30 to 40 hours a week. Some will be paid internships, others will not. In any case, the program is a revenue generator for COD since there is a program fee of $2,300 per student.
Since Frisoli is hoping to see 25 to 50 international students in her first internship class; their stay in the valley can steamroll into helping pump up the local economy.
“Obviously this is another form of a visitor to the Coachella Valley,” said Canfield. “So these folks come, typically we see their families now come and visit, their friends come and visit and they also help spread the word about Palm Springs as a destination.”