Whether you're a senior or not, you have probably been asked the question, "What are you doing after school?" And you might answer with, "Probably get an internship," but you struggle with knowing where to start. The best time to get an internship is the summer after your sophomore or junior year but the earlier you can get experience the better. Although the ideal summer would be spent at the beach or with friends, experience is very important when applying for post grad jobs. The days left in the semester are quickly coming to an end, but there is still time to find a summer internship.
Why Should I Get an Internship
Jobs are important, but so is experience. Whether or not an internship is required for your major, internships offer a variety of benefits that a typical summer job can't. As a freshman, I was unsure of what my major was going to be. After declaring my major junior year, I knew I needed experience in public relations (PR) if I wanted to get a PR job after graduation. My junior year I worked as a socal media intern, then furthered my experience with a marketing internship that following summer. As a current senior preparing to graduate in May and looking for jobs, I can't stress enough how important experience is when applying for jobs. Many jobs require a couple years of experience in order to even apply for them. Because of my past positions, I have some background knowledge and projects to talk about in interviews. Even if your first couple of weeks are spent getting coffee orders, time spent as an intern teaches you many important skills before getting hired full-time.
You have four years at Purdue. Use every resource you can! My best recommendation is the CCO or Purdue Center for Career Opportunities. Personally, the CCO has been a life-saver throughout my college years. Looking back on my time here, I wish I would've used what they had to offer sooner. The CCO allows you to set up a 15 minute drop-in appointment for resume and cover letter review or internship and job search strategies.
The CCO also has a section online specific to internships. Below are the steps on how to get there:
The CCO is a great resource that can help you find an internship that can help lead you to finding your first job or next job.
A good resume is like your golden ticket into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Resumes can be a pain to write, but once completed, the internship hunt is a whole lot easier. My best recommendation to make your resume better would be to get it critiqued by as many people as possible. Current supervisors, professors, and even family members would be good people to ask. No resume is perfect and there is always room for a word change here or there but make it the best you can.
A helpful tip is to highlight keywords from job descriptions in your resume. For example, if the job description used the word "create," find a way to add that word into a job description of your own.
Be careful with the length. Longer than a page and an employer won't read it. Make sure your experience is up to date as well.
How to Find Open Positions
Depending on your major, there are different resources available. As a communication major, my advisor sends emails to me and other liberal arts students when internships are available. So ask your advisor because they may be able to help you!
Indeed is a great resource when it comes to finding an internship. This website allows you to search for a specific job title and specific location.
LinkedIn is another resource that is great for building your network and finding a variety of internships. The first step to a successful job hunt on LinkedIn is to create a profile. Your LinkedIn profile is similar to Facebook, but more professional. Your profile contains information regarding current and past job experience, education, skills, and extracurriculars. LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to write an about me section. I recommend making a unique statement about yourself and highlighting what type of position you are looking for.
Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, the intership search is easy. Start by connecting with individuals that you know. Then expand your network from there. Similar to Indeed, LinkedIn allows you to search for positions by name and location. When you find a company, be sure to scan through the list of employees because you may have a connection that would help you land the internship. LinkedIn will usually suggest connections or show you someone that you may have a similar interest in-such as you both went to Purdue University.
Internship opportunities are everywhere-you just have to know where to look or even who to ask! Use the resources that Purdue has to offer and take advantage of them. Good luck! :)
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