Peers: Be thinking of internships

By Lovette Ajayi

The weather’s getting warmer, days are getting longer, and we are getting more restless. Summer’s approaching, and while many of us dream of one spent lounging on the beach sipping pina coladas, we must get real. We need jobs! It’s time for summer planning, and jobs, internships in particular, are an essential part of it. We are enjoying our last four years being dependent on parents, so we need to start preparing for our future. Whether we are going to graduate school or getting jobs, internships are a great experience and can lead to full-time, post-graduate opportunities.

When beginning to search for an internship, it is important to narrow down one’s field, whether using one’s major as criteria or considering something of strong interest. You must have a definite idea of a field – otherwise the search for an internship can get overwhelming because there are so many choices. With this in mind, the search for internship opportunities could begin at the Career Center, where you have access to researching different companies and employers. You could even get an electronic account that allows you to set your job criteria, and whenever there is one that matches, an e-mail is sent to notify you of that match. This is a very convenient way of knowing one’s options.

One of the most important aspects of job search is one’s resume. It is a representation of you in the simplest way, and you have to find a way to come off like a multi-dimensional person, but in a two-dimensional format. Your resume has to market yourself and show your abilities in order to interest an employer. A good resume can be the difference between getting that perfect job and being overlooked for someone else. It should include experience and skills that are relevant to the position one is seeking, and whatever else qualifies you for the job. Action words should replace run-on sentences, and bullet points should make it clear. After the writing of a resume, make sure to proofread, because even the smallest errors come off as carelessness that one cannot afford. To ensure a resume is professional, it must be just that: professional. It is recommended that one get a second opinion on a resume before submitting it, and the Career Center offers resume critiques that will ensure that you are putting forth the best representation of yourself.

With the perfect resume in hand, one might still not be ensured a job. When an employer likes what he sees on your resume, the next step is an interview. It’s important to prepare for this also. It is not a bad idea to research the employer, because it will show that you have taken some initiative. You can even arrange for a mock interview at the Career Center to let you know what to expect and to help you assess your readiness.

At the interview, make sure to come across like you want, because the first impression usually lasts. Dress in the manner of how you would like to be seen by the employer, usually business attire. Also, make sure to address the employer directly by making eye contact, showing confidence and being self-assured. When the time comes, ask the employer some questions showing your interest in the company and letting him or her know you have done extra homework. A good interview can lead to a first choice job and must be treated as an important facet of job-hunting.

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Internships are competitive, but that is because they are very resourceful tools for people to take advantage of. When prepared for all the things that can lead to securing a job, we increase our chances of ensuring future jobs and enhancing our network connections. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities available, and summer internships are some of the best experiences we could get.

Stay positive, folks!