Career Planning College Life Internships

Why Doing an Internship(s) Will be the Greatest Thing You’re Forced to Do.

Internship

“I have to do one in order to graduate,” seems to be a common phrase heard from students in their junior or senior year of college. We are here to tell you that requirement could be, if you let it, one of your best college experiences.

 

Let’s start with what exactly an internship is. It’s experience-based credits that most college majors require in order for students to fulfill the necessary coursework before graduation. It is a “class,” however you don’t meet in a classroom. It’s real-life work experience in an actual job setting. What’s great about an internship is three fold. One, you are able to gain experience in the field you’re interested in, therefore getting your feet wet before you’re there for real. Two, you make connections that could, and most likely will, be great references for the post-graduation job hunt. And three, it’s one less textbook and test course that you have to take during your years at school.

 

Internships will not only prepare you for the working world, but also get you excited for it. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying, “I could totally see myself working here.” Here are our top 5 tips on making the most of your college internship(s):

  1. Do more than one.
    You can do an internship anytime during college, even though you may only get credit as a junior or senior. But that’s okay! The more internships you do, the more knowledge you’ll have when it comes to what kinds of jobs you’re best suited for.
  1. Figure out the paid/not paid situation ASAP.
    Many internships are paid just like a part-time job, and others, sad but true, are not paid at all. For some students, taking an internship that doesn’t pay is really hard based on their financial situation. But if you can help it, don’t let the fact that you’ll be working for free affect your decision. There are some great un-paid internships out there that will be worth it in the long run.
  1. Update your resume as you go.
    Employers are increasingly asking for more experience from recent college graduates, therefore the more real-world instances you can present on your resume and in your interviews, the better.
  1. Be confident.
    Being an intern is not always a glamorous job, but it’s not going to solely involve getting coffee and running errands, either. You’ll most likely be working on real projects, sitting in on real meetings, and talking to real clients. Know your role, but be assertive. Employers like to see that you’re independent and willing to go the extra mile to learn.
  1. Use your employer as a reference.
    If your internship goes well, those employers will be the best letters of recommendation you can get. Advisors and professors are good references, but if you can show a future employer that you come recommended by a professional in the field, your chances of getting hired increase exponentially.

If you’re still questioning the beauty of internships, ask other former college students how theirs impacted life after graduation. You can bet that’s where they gained some of the best contacts, references and friends in their time at school, which means you can too.

So, wear that intern nametag proud, and go get yourself some experience!

College Life

Making Friends in College

College Friends “The friends you’ll meet in college will stay with you for the rest of your life.” Who hasn’t heard this said to them at least a couple times in their life?

There is a lot of pressure to come into college and meet the best friends we’ve been waiting for our entire lives, but how do we actually meet them? It might seem daunting to build your friendship network from scratch after being so close with your friends from high school, but making new friends at a place you and others chose to go to will be much more rewarding.

Many students are worried about approaching people, yet the truth is that people are dying to meet you just like you’re dying to meet them. Here’s a list of some of the things I did to make new friends at college:

1. Keep your door open. If you’re living in a residence hall, make sure you buy a door stop and use it. When I first moved in, my door was always closed and I never saw anybody in my hall. After purchasing a door stop and keeping my door open, so many girls would walk across my room and introduce themselves or just come in to hang out. You can end up having hours long conversations with someone after they simply walked by your door to say hi.

2. Try to hang out in public spaces. If you’re in your room all day long, then you won’t be able to meet many people. Most dorm buildings typically have either a study area or a lounge where students can read or work. It’s a great place to meet new friends and form groups with those you already know. While it’s nice at times to be in your quiet dorm, try to make an effort to spend some time in public spaces.

3. Invite people to lunch. Even if you don’t know them well, invite them to eat a meal with you. Most students want to be friends with you just as much as you want to be friends with them, and they’ll really appreciate the extra step you took to get to know them. When I first moved to college, I tried to invite as many people as I could to lunch and dinner, because it’s a great excuse to hang out.

4. Go to club meetings even if you’re not sure about joining. Clubs are a great way to meet people who have similar interests. Even if you’re not positive about joining, make sure you go to at least four or five meetings, because you’ll end up meeting people from all around campus as opposed to only those who live near you. It might seem scary going to a club meeting alone without knowing anybody, but there’ll be many others in that meeting that are feeling the same way and want to make new friends as well.

5. Form study groups in your classes. While classes are a great way to meet new people, it might be hard to try and meet up with them outside of the classroom. By forming a study group with a couple other students, you’ll be able to meet up with them and eventually hang out just for fun. Many times people may seem cold in class, but that’s only because they don’t know anybody so they’re uncomfortable too. Don’t let that deter you!

This was a guest post by Noa Livneh, a college freshman at USC.

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