Posted tagged ‘career center’

How To Start Searching For Your Spring or Summer Internships

October 7, 2010

You can count on lots of help in searching for your next internship. But the impetus has to come from you. Getting a good internship is a competitive process, so it’s never too early to start networking.

Here are our top 5 tips for how to search for your spring or summer internships:

  1. Attend career fairs. Your campus probably sponsors numerous career fairs year-long. So get your resume updated and dust off your business casual clothes. Sign up early and research the companies in which you are interested. Approach your top choices first and have a 30-second introduction ready as to what you bring to the table. Do take notes, write thank-you letters, and follow-up for internships.
  2. Visit the career center.  Be a frequent visitor to the career center, asking for help in updating your resume. Attend the many workshops and read the center’s updates and newsletters. Make sure that you know the counselors by name and that they all know what internships interest you. If you have your sights set on a specific company, ask the career center to contact the company to explore internship opportunities. You could also volunteer to help out with special events at the center.
  3. Talk to other students. Develop contacts with former and current interns, learning about their internships and what they liked and disliked about the companies. Don’t hesitate to ask a current intern to recommend you as his/her successor. And be sure to find out as much as possible about the internship supervisor, so you’ll know what to talk about during an interview. Explore the possibility of virtual internships by talking with other students who may have experience in this growing field.
  4. Search internships.com. As the world’s largest internship site, internships.com has something for everyone. You can zone in on any internship by specifying location, company, paid or unpaid, credit, time period, and responsibilities. The site also offers special programs that predict what internships are best for you and how to improve your ability to perform. You can read intern blogs and access coaching services.
  5. Create your own internship. If you still can’t find the internship of your dreams, create one. Research the company and internship that you want and then approach the company with a proposal, listing your abilities and explaining the value that you bring to the company. You can also ask for an informational interview as a means to get your foot in the door. Another approach is to offer to do a virtual internship, working on a special project for the company.

Utilizing the Career Center at your school for internships & advice

August 13, 2010

When you look at the map of your new campus, be sure to circle the career center; it’s going to be one of your most important destinations during your four years at college. Consider the career center an adjunct classroom, where you’ll learn important lessons about the professional world. The career center is your bridge to internships, where you’ll get hands-on experience to add value to your academic learning.

After you settle into your new life at college, make an appointment at the career center to learn more about its many offerings. When you go, dress appropriately as if you were going to an interview rather than a campus party. Although you are only a freshman or sophomore, you want the staff to see you as a pre-professional, who will represent the school with dignity in a future internship.

You may want to take your resume with you and show it to a career counselor for feedback.  (Get hints on writing your resume at internships.com.) Your resume is an evolving document, but the counselor can advise you about the accepted format. The career center offers assessments and tests to help you determine your career goals. During your academic years, your career goals may change, so it’s good to get an early reading and then retake the tests later to help chart your direction.

Take advantage of the brochures and materials on hand for helpful hints on careers. Study a list of the current internships to learn what’s available. Ask to be on the career center’s email list for upcoming events, such as internship fairs or workshops. After you’ve introduced yourself at the career center, be sure to follow up with emails or occasional visits. When you’re ready for an internship, the career center will be more than ready to help you because they know you’ll be a credit to the school.

Q. Can alumni from my school help me get an internship?

March 30, 2010

A. Absolutely! Alumni can certainly be most helpful to you. They are an excellent source of networking for your future. Here’s how to capitalize on those relationships: 

  1. Research internships on internships.com to find ones that interest you. Go on those company websites and research the information, especially biographical material on officers, management team, or board of directors, to see if they are graduates of your school. You can also check your school alumni database to see if anyone works at the organization.
  2. Google any likely prospects to find out more about them. There may be press releases or business reports that will give you information about their education. Look around your campus to check out the names of buildings or locate plaques that list alumni donors or companies that would be possible internship sites.
  3. Talk to the counselors at your campus career center. They may be able to help you find the right contact at the internship of your choice. Career centers often host career fairs or lectures that involve alumni and their companies. Most alumni give precedence to undergraduates of their alma maters.
  4. Visit your alumni relations office on campus and pick up as many alumni publications as possible. Most alumni relations departments publish quarterly news magazines with listings of the latest career achievements of graduates. Review the listings to see if any graduates work for the companies you’ve identified as your target internship sites.
  5. Volunteer to work at an alumni event. Most universities hold numerous alumni events, such as Homecoming Weekend or reunions for different schools in the university. Undergraduates are always needed to lead tours or register alumni, which will give you access to their company affiliations. You’ll have the chance to meet alumni in person and follow up with your application for an internship.
  6. Apply for an internship in the alumni relations department, which will allow you to find out more about where alumni work. When you’re ready for a second internship, you’ll know which alum could help you get that internship. If you belong to any campus organizations, find out if any previous members are now alumni who work at companies of interest. Then network!
  7. Find out where the alumni from your department work. You may want to ask your professors to make the initial contact for you. Also, your professors may be connected to one of the companies that has a listing on internships.com through their consulting or other activities. Your professors can be a great help in getting you the internships that you want.

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