Students with multiple internships in college are more likely to gain a job after graduation. Photo by Farrah Goodall.
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College is supposed to give you the education necessary for acquiring a good job in the future. However, most jobs want to see that a potential employee had experience in that career in addition to the correct credentials. One way to gain this experience is through internships during college. As the spring semester draws near, it is a good time to start finding and applying for internships.
What is an internship
At its core, an internship is additional hands-on job training outside of the classroom. Sometimes internships are unpaid, but others offer compensation. Either way, an internship provides valuable experience and puts you ahead of the competition when applying for a job.
One of the most important things when it comes to internships is who you know. Networking includes peers, professors and employers. The Internship and Career Services office at Butler is also there to help. It is important to know your specific career advisor and mentors for your major and college, because some majors require an internship for credit.
Courtney Rousseau, CCOM career advisor for ICS, has advice ready to offer students and can meet with students one-on-one through scheduled appointments. Appointments for ICS can be scheduled through Handshake or by calling the ICS office.
“It is never too early to start networking,” Rousseau said. “You are already making connections with your peers, but you are do not think of it that way. With potential employers, reach out and introduce yourself, and if you are ever nervous about reaching out, come see ICS. We probably have connections locally and nationally that you do not know about, and we can walk you through the process.”
Every student at Butler has a Handshake account. The account works similar to LinkedIn but is more student-based as Butler can post available internships and job opportunities for students. The login is the same for your student account login. LinkedIn is also a great resource that can help students find connections as well as make themselves known by building their profile over the course of college.
Finding an internship
There are both on- and off-campus internships available. Do not apply for them all. Be specific with what you are looking for and apply for internships that will boost your experience. Some on-campus internships are not specifically titled “internships,” including assistants in different departments and on-campus employment, so be sure to network and use the ICS website and its search resources.
Another important component of the application process is the resume. A resume should list your best qualities as well as explain why you should be considered for the internship.
“Students should not confuse experience with being paid,” Rousseau said. “Although paid jobs are included, experience also includes the courses you are taking as a student and other outside activities that you have been apart of.”
Examples of resumes can be found in the ICS guide as well as other pertinent information and resources.
Applying for an internship can seem overwhelming, but there are resources to help you along the way. Also, being friendly never hurts, because friendliness can build relationships and help you land an internship.