Summer is just around the corner. Yes! While the idea of fun and relaxing days at the beach or community pool is attractive, the majority of your summer days will likely be spent working. As you look for and secure career-related employment and/or internships to test out your classroom knowledge and put your skills to work, we want you to keep these things in mind:
1. Not all “internships” are created equal. Make sure the one you accept offers meaningful assignments. In one of the webinars we showed on campus this year, Internships - From Accounting to Zoology, speaker Donald Asher offered the following features of a great internship:
· Opportunity to work at or slightly above your skill level
· Formalized acculturation program (Socialization activities)
· Established program, committed resources, an assigned supervisor/mentor
· Exposure to various departments and/or functions
· A defining project, and if at all possible, a resulting product (e.g. report, plan)
· An established channel of consideration for permanent hire
2. Even less than ideal jobs may have “hidden” opportunities. If you deem your job boring or unrelated to your career goals, is there anything you can do to turn that situation around? Take some initiative. Propose a project; show how your idea can bring added value to the organization. Ask for more responsibility.
3. Keep a journal. Yes, do so even if you are not required. You will want to keep track of your work activities, your professional development, and what you have been learning. It's easy to quickly forget even things that you are positive you will remember forever. Journal notes will provide you with information you can use to update your resume or recall a story you want to share to demonstrate your strengths and experience in a future job interview
4. Build your network. Take some extra time to conduct several informational interviews beyond your specific work assignment and meet people in other areas of the organization. Do the same thing with people working in other organizations. Summer is a great time to get to know the organizations in the geographic area where you are located.
5. Ask for a letter of recommendation that spells out your specific contribution to the organization, as well as referrals to other professionals they may recommend. Still looking for opportunities? We don’t know about every summer opportunity out there, but what we do learn of we post to JOB CENTER, so be sure to check it regularly for updates. And, by the way, employers are rarely on vacation. They will continue to post internships and other opportunities during the summer months!