- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 22 February 2017
- Written by KAITLIN MCGUIRE | STAFF WRITER
Many students try to push off the responsibility and task of getting an internship, but that experience is more beneficial than some people think. An internship is a preview of what someone’s future career will be like in a specific field. It could be a business, a public relations firm, or student teaching.
Whatever your calling may be, it is extremely important to figure what you want to spend your life doing, and what it is like to work that job.
Some may be wondering how to go about the process of obtaining an internship. For many instances, the process depends on the company or firm itself. Students should initiate searches on Google to find businesses and companies that appeal to them.
Collect as much information that you are able to, and familiarize yourself with the work they have done in the past.
Some websites provide a phone number or email address for students to reach out and connect with employees. Other sites have information about internships explaining the time span of the internship, what the intern would be doing and learning, the skills and education they require or prefer, and so on.
It may not seem like much, but, writing a cover letter and making sure your resume is perfect, and properly sent in are crucial steps.
When going in for an interview, it is best to have questions prepared to ask the company as well. They could be simple, such as their favorite part about working in the company, how long they have worked there for, what a typical day is like for an intern, and any other information they did not touch upon.
Lexi Swatt, a Monmouth alumna who is currently a postgraduate assistant for the Young Athlete team at Bleacher Report, said, “I made bullet points of information I found out about the company and then I made a set of questions I wanted to go over. Whatever company did not fully appeal to me, I crossed it off my list, and moved on. Make sure that you intern for a company that you know you will enjoy and have the same mindset and goals as they do. It really makes a difference.”
Another piece of advice would be to make sure you inform yourself about the company, their values and beliefs, and their clients. In an interview, or even in your cover letter, you can convey the information you educated yourself on, and connect it to what you can bring to the table or what you hope to expand your knowledge on while working there.
Shannon Newby, a senior sociology student, explained, “I had to call places to get my internship, and I really wanted this specific place and position. I kept keeping in contact and following up, really showing them that I care and was passionate about interning for them. It worked out, and I have been at the same company for six months.”
Don’t be afraid to keep checking in on the process. The more you show them you care, the better chance you will have of getting the internship.
Internships may be scary in the beginning, or seem like an immense amount of pressure, but remember everyone goes through it. They are beneficial and a positive growth process.
Chad Dell, an associate professor of communication, advised, “Internships can provide important career training. Even more importantly, they are a terrific networking opportunity. Some 80 percent of jobs come because of someone you know, so expanding your network of contacts increase the likelihood that you’ll find that perfect job.”
Dell continued, “I had a student intern at CBS Sports; through contacts she made there she found out about a job at the Bleacher Report, and was hired before the end of the semester. Networking is crucial, and interning is a great way to expand your network.”
Networking is the key to getting a job, especially with the competition in today’s job market. The more people you know and make connections with, the more it will benefit in your favor. After an internship, add the employees on LinkedIn and make sure to stay in touch with them.
Having an internship is the best way to receive hands-on experience while figuring out if the job you have always pictured yourself working is really the right choice for you. You will learn many things about yourself, and grow as an individual in your field.
Maybe the internship is not what you planned it would be. If that’s the case, you still have time to change your major, or try something else. Career Services is available to help and advise any student. Don’t procrastinate; your future will be here before you know it.
IMAGE COURTESY of Lexi Swatt.