Best way to prepare for a job!
What better way to learn about a prospective field or career than to do an internship? Obviously, I am a big believer in internships. I did my first internship while at UF in Tallahassee as an intern for the Governor’s Office (I survived being a Gator in Tally). It was an amazing experience and I truly believed it helped me to get my first job out of college. Internships allow students to learn, but it also helps them decide if that is actually the career for them. They help them figure out, while still in school, whether the career they envisioned for themselves all along may (or may not) be just what they wanted? The question is how to find one.
I’m not going to lie….if you know someone, now might be the time to put the word out there that your student is looking. My older daughter got her summer internship at Shape Magazine because my friend’s daughter worked for them. The two of them spoke on the phone and my daughter’s resume made its way to the right person. She got the internship in NYC and, what she did not earn financially, she more than made up with real-life experience and a position that looked great on her resume. Don’t worry; many internships do pay. My younger daughter, an advertising major, got an internship in February but many of her friends got theirs in March and April. Those majoring in accounting, finance, business tend to get internships in late fall.
UF’s Career Connections Center offers students assistance in searching for internships and jobs, signing up for events and interviews, and career counseling. In addition, they run various career and internship fairs throughout the school year. These are a great resource. Professional attire for these fairs is recommended as well as bringing a copy of your resume and researching the employers that will be there. They provide a list of which employers will be attending by logging in to their student Gator Career Link.
There are also many websites that list potential internships. Internships.com, as most of the sites do, allows students to put in their city and field of choice and even whether or not they are looking for paid and/or unpaid internships. From there a proper cover letter and resume would be the next step. Occasionally a Skype interview may be requested. Using sites like Indeed or SimplyHired may be worth a try, but spending a lot of time on these to simply hit the “apply” button and having their resume sent into a black hole generally doesn’t prove too successful as most of these positions get filled by students with a more personal connection.
Some websites, like Internmatch.com, allow students to sign up to get daily notifications for new postings about jobs that may be of interest to them. Glassdoor.com and YouTern.com are also useful websites to find an internship. FindSpark.com is better known for its more creative internships and entry-level jobs in NYC.
LinkedIn can be an excellent resource. Perhaps your student saw a position at a company they are interested in one of the above sites and then by scouring LinkedIn they can make a connection. My daughter found that she had a second connection to someone who worked at the company she is applying for an internship. The connection is in the same sorority as my daughter (and her sister was in the same sorority as well) It turned out to be someone who is directly connected to her sister because of their sorority affiliation. That led to her sister e-introducing them and a phone conversation.
To search for internship listings, be sure to have a detailed and updated LinkedIn page ready to go, then go to the jobs tab at the top of the page and put “internship” in the search box. Refine your search by filling in the boxes on the left side of the page.
Some students are creating their own videos or websites to show off all they have done and are capable of. It can be better than a long portfolio that may exceed the amount of space for uploaded information. These are generally used for more majors like graphic design or advertising, and not finance.
Should your internship take you out of state, click here to learn about housing options.