With the summertime quickly approaching, many students are scurrying to wrap up the semester with flying colors. For seniors, it means looking for jobs. For other students, summertime is an opportunity to secure internships in their desired field. While the job/internship hunt is something many students dread, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few key preparation steps that students can take in order to best set themselves up for success in their hunt.
Sigal Khodara, an accounting student, serves as an intern for Withum, a nationally ranked advisory and public accounting firm. This summer, she already has another internship lined up at PWC as an external audit intern. She credits much of her success to Monmouth University’s Career Development team. “Jeff Mass helped me revise my resume. He also helped me with the interview process to prepare,” said Kohdara, adding that Mass emphasized preparation as the key when it comes to interviews.
MU’s Career Development team also sent out Khodara’s resume to top companies in order to garner as many options as possible.
Handshake, Monmouth’s new career management platform, has assisted many students with making appointment with MU’s career development staff, while also receiving personalized job listings.
Jeffrey Mass, Director for Employer Engagement, added, “Select industry interests to make sure that Handshake recommends the best job and internship opportunities for you.”
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the networking opportunities that they have, and some vital connections can be found right in the classroom.
Andrew Pedersen, MBA, instructor in the department of Marketing and International Business shared the importance of networking in the classroom. Pedersen said, “Many professors at the University, myself included, have contacts in the business world and are often looking for the best and the brightest to fill internships.”
Pedersen added that his company, Charter Financial Publishing Network recently hired an intern from Monmouth and hopes to hire a second student. He said, “The supervisor of the current intern also attended and graduated from Monmouth University, although he did not intern with us”.
Pedersen also emphasized the importance of not just networking with professors, but with alumni as well. By utilizing Monmouth University’s Hawk Net platform, students can reach out to alumni for guidance, engage in discussion, search the job listings, and attend informational webinars from Alumni.
The Hawk Net community is there to help students in any way possible. There are help topics on each user’s profile that enables students to seek out specific alumni for guidance in different areas.
Christina Solla, a public relations, journalism, and media production student, shared that her coursework has played a role in securing her internship at Social Construct Digital. “The PR classes that I’ve taken at Monmouth taught by Professor Nulle, Professor Harris, and Professor Simoes have helped prepare me for the real industry. I used work from their classes in my portfolio when applying for my current internship,” she said.
One of Solla’s responsibilities at her internship is to send out pitches, and thanks to the communication classes that she has taken, she was able to successfully present sample pitches to interviewers that she crafted in class under her professors’ instruction. She recommends that students stay calm and organized during their search and acknowledges that it may take time to find the right internship.
Alexis Nulle, M.A, Specialist Professor of Communication and PRSSA Faculty Co-Advisor, recommended students utilize LinkedIn. “Connect with your sphere of influence. LinkedIn has been such an incredible platform to connect with potential employers, MU alumni, current students, and professors,” Nulle said, “Utilize career services as they are an important part of the process, attend career fairs. This is ensuring you’re putting your talents to work and connecting with all potential employers and industry leaders.”
By setting up a LinkedIn page, students can show potential employers their wide array of detailed experiences, coursework, and portfolios that don’t necessarily fit on a traditional resume. Connecting with fellow peers from your classes is a great start to building up a network. Students are encouraged to showcase all of the clubs, organizations, awards, coursework, seminars, fundraising, and positions that they’ve been involved in. Become an active member on the platform by engaging in other users’ posts.
Some students find that posting their own thoughts or achievements on LinkedIn garners attention from their own connections which then spreads to more users, much like a spider’s web. But, simply setting up and filling out a LinkedIn profile is enough to stand out on its own.
Mass also recommends that students get in contact with a Career Coach. He said, “Career Coaches are able to provide students with guidance, help revamp resumes, and recommend the right type of internships based upon their skills and career goals.”
With a multitude of resources at students’ fingertips, success is on the horizon.