Moira Keating is a human resources marketing/employee engagement intern at Milliner & Associates. She will graduate from Marian University in December 2018.
Most college students know that getting an internship is an integral part of expanding their professional career. Some universities, including mine, even require it. There are websites dedicated to helping student’s find the perfect internship for their majors and/or skill sets, which makes for an easy and comfortable application process. Even uploading your resume to sites such as IndianaINTERN.net or LinkedIn could potentially lead to a recruiter contacting you, and from experience, it is exciting when that happens.
Just because there are plenty of places to see postings for an internship these days, doesn’t mean it is easy to get one. Your resume needs to be perfect and sometimes references, a cover letter, and/or a writing sample are required during the application process, and that is when the nerves kick in. There have been times I haven’t heard back from organizations that I thought would be a perfect fit for me, and I would wonder, “what am I doing wrong?”
Meeting with my advisor/professor/mentor was definitely a step in the right direction to help me with the application process. I would recommend everyone either meet with a professional, professor, or your school’s career center for tips on how to improve your resume. It is also important to tailor your resume to what the employer is looking for, but absolutely no lying. By tailoring your resume, I mean if an employer is looking for teamwork, maybe mention that huge team project you were a part of sophomore year.
Do not be discouraged if you don’t have a ton of experience. If you treat your classwork like a job, the experience will come. Take your time writing that executive summary. Spend another hour on that Excel worksheet. Schedule another meeting with your teammates. I was definitely worried about how my resume would look since my previous work experience included working at a bakery throughout high school, then working at a Kids Club in a local gym. Neither of those jobs scream “HUMAN RESOURCES!” but by contributing in class I felt ready to apply for a variety of internships.
I think one of the most important aspects of finding and receiving the perfect internship is attending every career fair/networking event you can. Although my current internship was not obtained through a career fair, or even by a network connection, these connections cannot be stressed enough. Always have your eyes and ears open to new opportunities, because you never know what can happen.
The list goes on forever about why internships are important. Even though I am only in my first internship right now, I have learned so much. From past experiences, I know how discouraging it can be if you are not hired for the “internship of your dreams,” but it is important to continue your professional career and great things will happen.