Summer is three months away. Even so, students are now starting to look for work and internships to beef up their resumes. When so many students are applying, it’s often difficult to figure out how to stand out in the crowd.
The on campus Career Center offers several 60-minute sessions and one-on-one appointments throughout the year to help students prepare to apply for an internship or co-op. Faculty in the Career Center help students decide where they would like to work and provide resources such as the Career Link website.
According to Jessica Osebold, the cooperative education assistant director, students must find something they are interested in to help their future career and gain valuable experience.
“Not all companies are going to post jobs,” Osebold said. “Sometimes they’ll have internships available but they don’t do a good job of advertising it.”
Students are advised to go out into the community and talk with employers face-to-face. Talking with employers is an important part of the process but, according to Osebold, career and internship fairs are good opportunities to meet future employers.
The most common mistake students make is being unprepared. Ways students can prepare, Osebold said, is to have their resumes and cover letters looked over. She also said that students should match the language used in the job description to their resumes and cover letters, practice their interviewing skills and apply to more than one job or internship.
“Employers, especially if they’re posting jobs and there are quite a few people applying, they’re going to spend about 30 seconds looking over your resume,” Osebold said. “If it’s not perfect and doesn’t look appealing to the eye, they are going to put you in the no-go pile because that’s just the nature of it.”
Abby Vig, a current marketing and communications volunteer intern at the Jeremiah Program, manages social media and creates a plan for how volunteers are trained.
“Apply for a wide variety of things,” she said. “Internships are a great way to learn more about what you do, and don’t want to do in the future.”
The skills an internship or co-op help develop are ones that students will need for a full-time career.
“Internships are a great way to get that experience,” Osebold said, “to learn what you love and what you don’t love.”