Almost every student and family inquires about internships through the application and search process. When it comes down to applying and choosing one I’m concerned that many times students choose convenience over rewards. In my opinion this is one of the worst decisions that a student could make. Those students that keep their internship searches open and unlimited will get the best opportunities. And the best opportunities either lead to employment or a resume builder that will lead to employment.
Some examples of my concern:
- my internship needs to be over the summer so it should be back home because that’s where I will be over the summer
- Starting the internship search the semester prior
- Searching for internships close to school or home
- Family member who is going to set me up with an internship
- Working a summer job and asking them to add internship responsibilities to the position
I’ve heard of all these situations and have friends who’ve followed many of these strategies and now that I’m someone who hires people as part of my responsibilities, I cringe at the thought! We just had meetings with an integrated marketing company that the admission office works with and they hire numerous interns over the summer and many of the position lead to full time jobs. They employ marketing majors, copywriters, web designers, writers, graphic artists, and sales people. We provide the information to our career service office yet no one has every applied from Albright. Why? Maybe because it’s in Richmond, VA, maybe because student’s haven’t heard of Royall and Company even though they’re a million dollar company with over 250 employees, but mostly because it doesn’t fit into a perfect plan.
Recommendations to college students (or graduates) thinking of interning:
- Always be searching
- Know what your ultimate goal is for an internship: work experience, a job offer following the internship, networking, getting a great name on your resume?
- Don’t restrict your search – not because of geography, a summer beach house, even course credit!
- Network, network, network! – if you bump into anyone who works in a field that you hope to work in, or with a company that you’d want to work for, or mentions knowing someone with those characteristics – inquire about an internship!
- Don’t be afraid to search for internships after graduation – I did one at Albright 15 years ago while pursuing my graduate degree, and now I’m the director of admission!
Good luck with your internship searches! Keep them wide open and the sky’s the limit!