Tips and Resources for Securing a Summer Internship
BY COURTNEY GALLAGHER
Want to develop marketable skills, gain practical experience, and earn money or college credit this summer? Start your search for a summer internship now.
Deadlines for summer internships are quickly approaching, which means students need to start preparing now to ensure their consideration for internships with February and March cutoffs.
As a first step, Career Service’s Internship Coordinator Cindy Quick recommends that students view application requirements by visiting the website of the place where they want to work.
“Check the deadline first,” Quick said. “If it has passed, move on to the next one.”
Students who know they want an internship but don’t know what their options are don’t need to panic. There are plenty of resources available to aid in a broad search.
For example, “What Can I Do With This Major” is a resource that allows users to select their major and read information on its career and occupational outlook, professional associations and employers, as well as view related job postings.
According to Meg Langland, director of the Center for Career Development, the professional associations listed on this site also have many internship opportunities.
Westminster’s Columns CareerLink is another resource available to students searching for both full-time jobs and internships, and additional resources can be found on Westminster’s website under “Internship and Summer Opportunities.”
Another site students said was helpful was LinkedIn, which houses many job boards.
Senior Jamie Striler, who interned with Cushman and Wakefield during the summer of 2015 said her internship began with connections on her LinkedIn account.
“I think more and more companies are turning to LinkedIn to recruit,” Striler said.
Its ability to help students not only make connections, but search for listings, put LinkedIn No. 1 on Forbes’ list of “The 10 Best Websites for Finding an Internship.”
To search for internship listings on LinkedIn, Forbes offers the following steps: “Go to the jobs tab at the top of the page and put ‘internship’ in the search box. Then refine your search by filling in the boxes on the left side of the page.”
Similar to how LinkedIn gives users the chance to make professional connections, Westminster’s Career Services utilizes the college’s alumni network to help students find jobs and internships.
“We encourage students to let us know what they’re interested in, and we will contact alumni in that area of interest,” Langland said.
Both Langland and Quick stressed the importance of gaining experience through an internship or another experiential learning experience.
“Those kinds of experiences can really solidify your career goals,” Langland said. “The great thing about an internship is that it’s really preparation for a full-time job.”
Striler agreed that gaining real-world experience is the most important thing a student can do to prepare for a job.
“You can learn so much more than in a classroom,” Striler said. “It’s important to see the environment and interact with different types of people than just the students at Westminster.”
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, almost 73 percent of employers placed related experience as the highest priority in a candidate.
Quick said once students decide that they are going to complete a summer internship, they should think about whether or not they want to do it for credit.
Quick explained that the advantages of doing an internship for credit include transcript notation, feedback from sponsors and supervisors, and more structure. Students completing an internship for credit create learning goals that reflect the student’s agenda and what they want to get from the experience, while students completing internships without credit have to be more self-disciplined, according to Quick.
Summer internship credit costs $275.
To learn more about internship opportunities, students can email email@example.com, call 573-592-5382, or make an appointment in the internship office located on the lower level of Newnham Hall.