Now, probably more than ever, soon-to-be college graduates find themselves anxious about their uncertain future. Students are bombarded with news reports about the lack of jobs almost daily, much less the income they can look forward to.
Friday, the AP reported “millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.”
Students who want a leg up against their ambitious counterparts should aim to get at least one internship in their chosen field under their belt before they graduate. While having a few would be opportune, just one is enough to show potential employers that an applicant is not only serious about their industry, but that they also have adequate experience already.
People who don’t know where to find these coveted positions can start their search at these four places. They should also keep in mind that most internships are unpaid and should plan accordingly.
Academic advisers should always be a student’s first stop whenever they don’t know what their next step is. They are the Yoda to a pupil’s Skywalker, leading them toward the Force to the best of their abilities.
Students can go to their advisers because they’re the ones most likely to have their ears to the ground about available internships and maybe even jobs. Before an appointment, students should ensure they don’t waste any advising time. They should go in with specific positions they feel as if they’d be suited for and businesses they’re interested in working at. This gives the adviser a better idea of what to look out for.
The chances of a student landing a perfect internship right away are low, but knowing what they want will allow them to narrow their search and find the closest possible opportunity.
Another person who could help is a professor in the department, preferably one who has worked in the exact field that the student wants to work in. Students in college should already make it a priority to get to know their professors personally. These are the people who write recommendations for graduate schools and even jobs.
Most professors who have worked in industries other than higher education probably still have connections at their previous workplaces. If a student is comfortable enough with their professor to ask, they can inquire about internships at a previous job that the professor has had. Students will be surprised by how willing their instructors are to help out.
They, as well as advisors, may even be aware of available internships not posted online or anywhere else, so students should not rule out visiting either of these people because of the internet.
For students who have had their eye on the perfect position at the perfect company, and they don’t see any opening on their website, don’t be scared of cold emailing the company.
Find out the head of the exact department, human resources, or just the owner or boss, and send them an email describing your passion for their company, along with your resume and cover letter tailored to the job. Be sure to outline all the benefits you would add to their team. If they’re creating a position for one person, they better be worth it.
Students who are comfortable in their research skills can do what everyone does in the 21st century when looking for answers of any kind: Google it.
They can either do a general web search for internships, or look on websites made for internships such as internships.com, looksharp.com, or even, popular job board, indeed.com.
Also, some departments have their own websites where they post any and all internships in their field that they find. Students can ask a professor or advisor about this.