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The Daily Illini

Hunting for an internship? Campus resources can help

By Jason Chun, Assistant news editor

For many students, the ultimate goal upon graduating college is landing a job. College is suppose to prepare you for the workforce by providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.

However, simply getting good grades and excelling in the classroom isn’t enough anymore.

Many positions require some amount of experience in the given field before even considering a candidate. This has made internships an almost necessary aspect of any student’s resume.

The most common time that students begin looking for internships is the summers following their sophomore and junior years. While there are opportunities for freshmen as well, many companies prefer to hire upperclassmen with more experience.

With such a high priority placed on internships, it has become crucial that students lock up as many as they can before graduating. Luckily for us, attending such a large University means that there are an abundance of resources that students can utilize to help them in the search.  

Career Center

The Career Center offers many different resources for both undergraduate and graduate students. The center’s staff can help students build their resumes, establish networks with potential employers and even run through mock interviews. They work with students individually to try and connect them with companies for internship and job opportunities.

They also have a section on their website with contact information for potential employers if they are interested in recruiting University students. There is an entire staff dedicated to reaching out to companies to find out what they are looking for in potential hires and pairing them with students who meet their needs.

I-Link

I-Link is a job networking service that is offered through the Career Center. It is an online site specifically for University students that lists hundreds of different job and internship openings that students can apply for.

You simply use your netID and password to get onto your account, where you can upload your resume and fill out an employment profile. Students then have the ability to filter their searches based on their profiles and the requirements for the internships, allowing them to narrow down their options to fit their field of study. I-Link allows you to apply for the positions directly from the site since your resume and information is already uploaded.

Career Fairs

It seems as though there is a career fair almost every other day on campus. You constantly see students walking in and out of the ARC dressed in suits holding folders and portfolios. Career fairs are a great way for students to network with companies and learn how to sell themselves to recruiters in a professional setting.

Some of the different colleges, such as the College of Engineering and College of Business, host their own career fairs that bring in companies specific to the students in each college. They are usually announced either on a college’s website, on flyers handed out in buildings or by professors at the beginning of class.

Professors

Being at such an esteemed University, one of its greatest resource for students is the professors. Many professors on campus also conduct research in their respective fields and have connections to companies and employers that they are more than willing to connect students with. One of the best things you can do is get to know your professors and establish a relationship with them. Maybe even do some research for them. You never know if they might be able to help you out with more than just a recommendation letter.

Jason is a senior in Media.

jpchun2@illinimedia.com

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