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You’re in the home stretch, Mustangs — just a couple short months and school will be out. Before addressing your beer gut or pasty skin, you might want to start looking for a summer job or internship.
Lauren Platte, a recruiting associate and research analyst at Career Services, said now is the time to apply.
“Starting early definitely helps,” Platte said. “We see the largest number of summer job and internship opportunities advertised during winter and spring quarters.”
Helen Pang, a career counselor and College of Science and Math (COSAM) specialist, agreed.
“I’d suggest being proactive and taking advantage of all the resources we have on campus,” Pang said. “We invite industry professionals to come talk to students on campus about their careers, and it’s a great way for students to come talk to students about their careers.”
But you’re likely wondering where you’re going to find a job this early.
The answer lies with Charlotte Rinaldi, assistant director at Career Services.
“Where do I start?” Rinaldi said. “Networking, of course. MustangJOBS, our Startup Career Fair, LinkedIn … The list goes on. Talking to alumni or people in your community doing the kind of work you want to do can be extremely helpful.”
Mathematics Department Chair Joe Borzellino is a huge advocate for Career Services.
“When I first became department chair, these resources really didn’t exist,” Borzellino said. “Now, Career Services really provides a more robust career experience for our students who are interested in finding jobs or internships, and students really have a lot more easily accessible opportunities than they’ve had in the past.”
So maybe you don’t have to lose hair over searching for jobs. Don’t grab your swimsuit just yet, though — you’ve still got to apply, and companies aren’t going to take just anyone for a summer internship or job. Rinaldi said companies look for many of the same traits in summer employees as in permanent ones.
“Employers want people who are hard-working, who take initiative, who are excited about their company and who want to contribute, not just learn,” Rinaldi said. “Of course, it’s an opportunity for a student to learn and to develop skills, but companies are also hoping that an intern will contribute to the company while they’re there.”
That’s right, you better dust off that resume you haven’t touched since last May. Don’t worry if it looks a little emptier than you’d like. According to Platte, companies know interns and summer employees won’t be as experienced as their full-time employees.
“Employers expect students coming into summer internships to be a bit more green, so they understand that students aren’t going to have extensive experience prior to being hired,” Platte said. “Things they do look for are leadership skills, dedication and motivation.”
Securing a job won’t be that bad, but stop eyeing that tanning lotion. You’ve got to decide how long you’re going to keep this job.
According to Borzellino, it’s hard to retain a summer job through fall quarter.
“I think it’s very difficult to keep a job and simultaneously work on your degree,” Borzellino said. “Both are going to suck up a lot of time, and coupled with courses getting harder and harder, good grades and a career will be very hard to maintain simultaneously.”
Pang also said that retaining a summer internship is difficult but added that it might just depend on the job.
“Some internships are very structured about what time period their employees are hired,” Pang said. “Some internships are more flexible and will let students work part-time while at school, but it depends very heavily on the program.”
Getting a summer internship can be a lot of work. However, if you spend a little more time researching as well as networking instead of lounging on the beach, you should be able to work somewhere that will really help your career. Don’t worry, Avila will still be there when you’re finished.