Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Internships: the New Full-Time Job

I have come to the conclusion that as a graduating senior, the best life decision is not to scramble for a full-time job but rather apply for an internship in an area I am genuinely interested in. I went through a stage back in October where I thought the end of the world would be here on May 28th at 10:30 am and if I did not have a succinct plan, all would be lost. This is absolutely positively not the case as I have come to learn in the past few months. Full-time employment is only possible with a resume jam-packed full of relevant internships, of which mine is not. Internships are great: when else do you get to 'test out' an area of work to see if you like it, where there is not actual contracted commitment? How are we supposed to know as recent graduates exactly what we want to do? For those of you who do know, I am jealous. As for me, I'm excited at the prospect of becoming an adult...slowly.

Keeping a level head is a virtue when it comes to applying for life after college, so I came up with a few key points of advice for those of you in a similar position:

1.) Take advantage of your college alumni network. They are there to help you, and it's actually kind of fun to explore all of the ways people like you used their undergraduate degree. It also serves as reassurance that contrary to popular belief, there is in fact life after college.

2.) Do one thing at a time. 

3.) Look for internships that you are interested in. Ask yourself, would I take this position if offered the job? If not, don't waste your or the employers' time.

4.) Know that even if you don't get the position after all, gaining interviewing experience is always to your advantage. The polishing of these skills will help you throughout your life.

5.) Stay away from the 'I'm never going to get this position so I'm not even going to apply' attitude. First of all, pessimism has no place in the application process because regardless, the employer is going to make the final decision. Leave it up to them. Second of all, if you don't apply there is zero chance you will get it, I promise. 

6.) Talk to your friends' parents and your parents' friends. A new perspective is sometimes all you need to find a whole new area of work you would be good at.  

7.) Cast a wide net. This is probably the best advice I've received about this whole process, and the best I can relay onto you. This job (well, internship) market is tough, but if you think outside the box you WILL find something right for you.

8.) Find something unique about yourself, and market that quality. You are your own person. Be able to tell an employer why.

9.) Stay away from internship and career search engines online. Some have been discovered to be scams, and this is certainly not the way you want to invest your time and energy. Go through specific company websites and go to their career page.

10.) Last but not least: once you graduate college, make sure that even if you do not get an internship or full-time job, get a summer job demonstrating some sort of commitment. Your resume will reflect time periods when you sat around for months doing nothing, and this is a red flag for employers. Keep busy! Besides, there's nothing worse than being bored. 

That's my deal about internships. Hope it was helpful! 
xo, MPF

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful list, you should be so proud!

    I am happy to be a new follower, and am excited to see what your future holds in store! Hope you'll come by and play, we have a lot of fun over in my little pink corner of the world!! XOXO