Column: Prior internships not a must in pursuing work at job fairs

By Julian Scharman

Greetings fellow University students. I don’t have a job yet, and before I begin, let me just make this extremely clear: I’m okay with that. Time and time again we hear blather about fruitless summer internships, and I figure, why subject myself to any of it? I hold myself in a high regard and working absurdly early hours and mastering my caffeine addiction appear last on my “Things I’d love to do” list. In all fairness, I do understand that caffeine and early hours are part of the many woes that exist in what we consider to be the “real world,” but let’s get serious. I’m in college for only one more year, so I’m going to “ride it out,” as a wise man once so eloquently said.

Following suit with the typical student course of action, I’ll attend my share of job fairs and do some interviewing, sans internship experience. But I figure if I do land that oh-so-delightful travel section reporting position at The Los Angeles Times, I can say that I did so in the face of adversity.

I would like to state for the record that I did in fact spend a portion of my summer conducting myself in a relatively proactive manner, not just following my typical self-destructive habits. Myself and a group of students embarked on a 17-day reporting tour in China, examining our respective issues amidst an economy moving faster than Axl Rose’s hair in a headbang. We put together a two-hour radio show for a National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, with each of our stories occupying a 10-minute installment.

I hope I’ve cleared my name of the complete laziness that I may have established by way of my discourse on career shopping. Now, allow me to impart a piece of advice to my fellow students: You do not need to force yourself to adhere to the grooves of post-undergraduate preparation. You can still apply 110 percent to your academic and social endeavors without slaving over what your mechanical engineering peer did at his “megatech” internship last summer.

So hear me now and hear me later, as college students today we have more than enough on our proverbial plates. We need not worry so far in advance about what we want to do following our college experience at the University. Do your fair share of preparation without removing yourself from today’s responsibilities and pleasure.

And if all goes according to plan, the next time you’ll hear from me it’ll be via my 1,200-word LA Times travel section feature on Fijian coastal vegetation.