With the semester finally winding down and the Memorial Day party weekend fast approaching, most college students are tempted to spend their summer vacation traveling, clubbing, tanning and working a part-time job to finance it all.
The thought of spending 30-hours a week behind a desk for no pay may sound even less appealing than that recently completed Philosophy term paper. But, just like the paper, it must be done.
Without internship experience, college students do themselves a major disservice when it comes to job hunting. True, as an undergraduate it may seem like a long ways off, but any professional in any field will tell you, it's never too early to start building a solid résumé.
CLIP intern gets hands-on experience at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Top 3 Reasons You Need a Summer Internship (Now!):
- Your degree doesn't guarantee you a job. No matter how impressive the university, the fact that you passed your courses doesn't exactly make you a standout in the crowded pool of candidates you'll be joining. Employers hiring for entry level positions often find themselves swamped with résumés from soon-to-be or recent college graduates. What is going to give you the edge over your peers? Work experience. How do you get work experience when you're just a student committed to a heavy course load? Summer internship.
- It's not what you know, it's who you know. This tip is crucial for first time job seekers who often struggle to land interviews. Since there can be an overwhelming number of qualified candidates for entry level jobs, it can be hard to get your foot in the door. That's when personal connections come in very handy. And, we're not just talking about your Facebook friends. You will need to have personal connections with key professionals in your field. How do you get them? Summer internship.
- You're a big fish in a little pond. Getting what you want may be easy now, since you're a semi-celebrity on campus, a familiar face in the Student Union and a regular at all the Greek parties. But, when it comes to job hunting, potential employers won't recognize your status. You'll have to sell yourself, exhibit experience, showcase your talents…and not come off as cocky when you do it. Venturing outside your comfortable microcosm is essential. There, you'll learn how to find commonalities with colleagues, interact with people you may otherwise ignore and gain an appreciation for even the most menial job function. How do you swap the "big fish" attitude for a deeper understanding of the "real world?" Summer internship.
CLIP interns at the UJA Federation in New York.