Posts Tagged ‘internships’
English majors aren’t given a lot of promise for their careers. Between snide comments about your future waitressing job, pressure from professors to turn to teaching, and the myriad “useless majors” lists English finds itself on in a tech-savvy job market, it’s a rough world for an aspiring writer. So when a friend told me she knew someone, who knew someone, who was looking for an editorial intern, I immediately submitted my resume and writing samples. My friend put in a good word for me, and days later, I had the job! It was a good mix of networking and my own hard work.
The business at which I interned, Campus Calm, was a company dedicated to helping college students with perfectionism. The founder, Maria Pascucci, was only eight years older than me, and this became an important aspect to our relationship.
After months of proofreading and blog writing, we began working on a book: The College Student’s 10-Step Blueprint to Stop Stressing & Create a Happy, Purposeful Life. My job was to proofread, expound on an article I had written a few months before, and create a couple of fun quizzes at the end of each chapter. I was writing everyday, and it felt great! When the work was done, Maria and I met for sushi, and she handed me three copies of the finished book. The feeling I got when I saw my name in print was unreal! I was published at 21 years old! The experience proved invaluable as such an noteworthy accomplishment helped me stand out among my peers.
Upon graduation, the professional relationship I had with Maria became something more of a friendship. I would drive to her house in the city, and over lunch outside, we would spend the afternoon brainstorming ideas for her next big project. She would clue me in on the ins, outs, and struggles she faced as a business owner, (which became very useful to me) and I would confide in her about my woes as a recent college grad. (What recent college grad doesn’t have a few woes?) I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure how to go about making it my career.
Then one afternoon, as we sat on the floor of her bright blue and orange office, it occurred to me that I wanted a job like hers. I wanted to own my own business. After telling her of my plan, she immediately got to work helping me pick a name, design a web site, and file for a DBA. Within a month, my freelance writing business was launched!
Having had my business, 100 Pink Pens, for nearly a year now, Maria and I remain good friends both professionally and personally. She is always willing to provide me with advice when I need it, and I continue to help her in any way that I can. After all, she’s the reason I got my start! I was able to follow my dream of owning my own business and making a living as a writer all because of my college internship!
Don’t abandon your passion just because you’re unsure whether you can make a living doing it. Start with finding the right college to help cultivate your talent, work hard, and always be ready to say “yes” to an opportunity. You never know which one might just make your career.
When it comes to today’s competitive job market, having any kind of upper hand is essential. Hundreds of applications and resumes are being pushed onto employers, with only a dozen or so given the opportunity for an interview, and only one or two of those given a position. You’re going to need something that really makes you stand out! That’s why so many college students are turning to internships these days. In fact, some colleges have decided to make it a mandatory part of their curriculum necessary for graduation! Check out these tips on what scoring an internship during college, or even after college, can do for your career.
Get Real World Experience
The most obvious benefit from getting an internship in a field related to your career is that you will be given on the job, real-world experience. While your fellow classmates will graduate with knowledge in their area of expertise, having an internship on your resume means in addition to all of that knowledge, you have experienced first-hand how that information is applied in the workforce. While your classmates have all of the ingredients to bake a cake, you’ve actually baked the cake! That may not seem like much difference to you now, but to the individual who will train you in your first entry-level job, it’s a big difference!
Get Real World Connections
An equally important benefit to getting an internship in college is that you’ll be put in connection with many other people in your field who already have what you want- a job! This is a huge opportunity for you to network. By getting on good terms with those you work with, and by making an impression on the higher ups, you will be opening doors to your future. In another year, or two, or three, they might just want to pay you to come work for them! If they don’t have openings, they are likely to have connections with other businesses that could use you. Regardless of what they can do for you, they can point you in some kind of direction, hopefully with a flattering letter of recommendation.
Get a Real World Reality Check
While an internship is a great way to get a jump start on your career, it’s also a great way to make sure you’re heading toward the right one! Too often, students find themselves in their senior year of college, or in their first entry-level job, with the realization that what they had worked for over the last four years isn’t actually what they want to do for a living. Sometimes the difference between learning about a subject, and having a job related to that subject, are dramatically different. Having an internship early on in college is the best way to make sure that situation doesn’t happen to you.
The summer after your sophomore year is a great time to gain real-world training and insight into your field of study with a summer internship. Companies all over the country look for student interns to help out during the busy summer months, giving you a hands-on, short-term experience in the industry and an early glimpse at the career options available to you after graduation. An internship is a great way to start building your resume, gain personal business contacts, and form a relationship with a company in your field. There are many tools available to students looking for internships, and finding them is easy!
Utilize Your University
Universities like to help students find employment and be successful in the working world, both in internships while still enrolled and at the full-time level after graduation. There are many resources—some that you may not have even been aware of—available to students that you should take full advantage of.
1. The Career Center: Somewhere on campus, there is a Career Center or Employment Office filled with counselors who are eager to use their resources to help you find an internship. Making an appointment will allow you to meet a counselor face-to-face and explore the options that are available to you. Your counselor may also know personal contacts looking for interns, and if you fit their criteria, can recommend you for an interview.
2. Your University’s Career Website: Many university websites feature a forum for employers to create job postings targeted at students of the school. Because these companies are seeking students like you, it can be a great way to find an internship where you will learn a lot and be successful. Review the internship listings on your schools website, and you’re likely to find exciting opportunities for the summer.
3. The Job Fair: Roughly twice a year, universities put on job fairs to give students the chance to meet potential employers and help employers recruit students for open positions. Job fairs are a great resource when looking for an internship, and will allow you to meet members of Human Resources teams who are responsible for interviewing and hiring.
Internet Job Boards
On the internet, there are many search engines solely for students looking for internships. These websites allow you to create a profile, upload your academic and previous work information, and browse internships across different cities, industries, pay levels, and time frames. Some of these websites even allow recruiters to view your profile and contact you—rather than waiting for you to apply—if they are interested in hiring you. Try internships.com, internmatch.com, internweb.com, internsearch.com, or idealist.org to get started today!
Visit Cappex for more ways to find an internship!
If you’ve completed an internship, you’re going to be asked about it at a job interview. But talking about it in a short amount of time may not be so easy. On the one hand, you want to be able to indicate you worked hard and achieved a lot, but on the other hand, you don’t want to ramble, or forget to mention something really great. The following is a list of tips to prepare you to discuss your internship at a job interview.
Prepare for Different Questions
Before going to an interview, consider the different questions you may be asked about your internship. Possible questions might be:
What responsibilities did you have during your internship?
What did you learn during your internship?
What did you like/dislike about your internship?
Describe a typical day at your internship.
How does this internship give you an advantage in the job market?
Why did you choose to do your internship there?
What was your greatest achievement during your internship?
How does your internship prepare you for this job?
How does this internship prepare you for your career?
Why did you decide to do an internship?
What was most challenging about your internship?
How did you handle (insert situation) during your internship?
What is the most important thing you learned at your internship?
Describe how you used leadership at your internship.
Describe how you worked with others at your internship.
Don’t try to memorize exact answers for these questions. Instead, think of a few important points you would want to cover for each. If you can remember the important points during an interview, your responses will sound fresh, but you’re still talking about what’s really important.
It’s important that when discussing your time at an internship, you speak well of the company and the people who work there. For one, businesses tend to work with other businesses. People tend to switch companies. You never know what the relationship is between your interviewer and the place you did your internship. Secondly, it doesn’t typically look good when you’re bad-mouthing a former work situation. When asked to discuss any dislikes about the internship, do it in a professional light.
If possible, have something that can demonstrate the work you’ve done at an internship. This could be a section in your portfolio, or a separate piece. You may want to consider bringing a letter of recommendation from your internship supervisor. Never give an interviewer the only copy of your work, or the original because you may not get it back.
Control Open-Ended Questions
You may just be asked to discuss your internship without being asked a specific question. In this case, you’ll want to mention your role as well as cover what you’ve learned, and how it’s prepared you for the position in which you’re applying. Have a few key points in mind for when this question is asked. Don’t try to cover everything. Your interviewer can ask follow up questions to get more information.
Cappex has lots of resources for college grads and post-graduate students.
Is the experience worth an unpaid internship?
Have a thought or an answer? Leave a reply below.
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