Finding an internship can be challenging sometimes. However, it is a key step to help prepare yourself for a career after college. Internships at Coker College are mandatory for some majors and elective for others, but regardless of your academic requirements internships can have a huge impact in your search for a good job in the future. Yes, it is hard to get a paid internship and it is even harder to get a paid internship in a big company. However, an internship is always a good experience. Here are five tips for getting an internship on your resume before graduation day.
- Get involved on campus. It is a good way to get to know staff, faculty, and even other students. Faculty and staff usually have good connections outside of the institution. They can lead you to an internship. It is also a great way of getting work experience and acquiring new skills.
- Get involved in your hometown community, as well as your college community. Executives, HR coordinators, and managers tend to be very involved in the communities where they live. Therefore, if you are involved, your chances of meeting these people increase significantly. You even might meet someone who knows someone who works at a company you’ve always wanted to work for.
- Represent yourself well on and off campus. Represent yourself in a positive manner when attending social events or even just walking around, eating at a restaurant, or participating in the classroom. Good and bad behaviors are noticed and remembered. Choose which image you want to have among students, professors, and community leaders. Companies have a strong presence on all social media sites; having an impressive online identity could help you secure an internship.
- Always seek leadership positions. Leadership positions will allow you to build close connections with people who have influence in their field: professors, church leaders, or even business leaders.
- Keep your resume and LinkedIn updated. After following the tips above, you will have content to build a strong resume. Look for help when creating/updating your resume. (Coker’s Student Success Center has resources and people trained to help you.) If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, get one. Most companies recruit online. Therefore, having a strong LinkedIn profile will make your internship application easier and more professional.
The benefits of an internship:
- You will find out if the work you’re doing is something you want to pursue after college.
- You will get real world experience by dealing with different situations and challenges on a daily basis.
- You will make connections and start building a professional network in your field.
Lastly, do not take an internship for the money. If it is something you have interest in and could be a future career, take it regardless of the payment and do your best. Work experiences are invaluable. Keep in mind that the world is smaller than it seems to be. Someone you meet today can be a good connection, partner, or even mentor in the future.
Gabe Castro (‘19) is a Business major with a double concentration in Marketing and Management. He is an international student from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a member of the Men’s Volleyball team, a member of Coker Enactus Executive Council and Enactus USA Student Advisory Committee, a member of the Sparrow Scholarship Program, a FYE Student Assistant, and an intern for Coker’s Office of Marketing and Communications. Gabe interned last summer with Sonoco Products Co at their facility in Jackson, Tennessee.