For students, internships can be a great foot-in-the-door to a future career. While getting paid to intern is a major perk, students should understand that unpaid internships can provide just as much quality experience.
When looking to receive credit for a particular internship, there are often deadlines as to when students can apply. Most colleges will not award credit after the fact if you haven’t registered in advance for the internship experience. Many colleges will not secure a specific internship position for students. Instead, the student is responsible for reaching out to the employers well in advance in order to land an internship, as well as a possible future position.
“I interned at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City headquarters last summer as their Advertising Intern. I was able to sit in on meetings, and not only that, but my opinions were heard and even taken into consideration,” Bridget Lundy, senior in advertising, said. “I was able to interact with the different departments and plan events. It was really neat to be able to see my work really pay off.”
Students can find internships by simply researching the business of their choice, seeking what opportunities are available. The business most likely has a website with contact information and phone numbers. There might be a link that will lead those interested in internships straight to career information.
For K-State students in particular, there is a program that is there for your disposal. Career and Employment Services is a program that is designed to not only help, but train students to build a resume, prepare for interviews and assist in the job hunting process. The website provides a great deal of information about how write a resume and how to dress for interviews, and they even offer a way to sign up and interview with potential employers on campus.
CES also holds career fairs a couple times a year in which employers come to K-State and set up booths with information about their companies. Students can walk around, find the company of their choice and interact with employers.
When looking for an intern, employers are looking for the cream of the crop. There is only one opportunity to make a first impression, and employers are not only looking for someone that they can connect with, but someone that can work well with others.
“I think that internships give young adults a taste of what the real world is like. They have been attending school and taking classes for the past 16 years of their life. Internships give them a taste of what the next chapter of their life will consist of,” Dan Murray, vice president of Koch Minerals, said.
Regardless of the type of business you are planning to embark on, communication is inevitable; there will be clients, business calls, closing of deals, etc. Being able to properly communicate can influence an employers’ decision to hire. Communication does not always involve speaking; it also entails listening and responding.
Networking is a great way to establish a presence and make yourself accessible to potential employers. Many students have a LinkedIn account, a website where people can create a profile for themselves and share their occupational experiences.
“My internship helped me land a job through getting a real-life experience in the industry,” Sarah Witcher, senior in apparel and textile marketing, said. “I was taught what the actual employees were doing every day and began to take on some of their roles, teaching me so much about the different aspects of the industry that I never even knew about.”
Witcher also said that while her internship was successful in helping her gain life experience, her ideal internship involves examining professionals in the workplace.
“An ideal internship looks like a real day in the life of the industry professionals and not just doing busy work and fetching coffee,” Witcher said.