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Focus Guides & Tips

Looking for an Internship?

Pavlina Cerna March 24, 2019

Summer break is only a few months away and you might be already thinking about summer plans. There are various reasons why an internship should be one of them!          

Internships are an increasingly important part of the college experience. According to the NACE Job Outlook Survey, more than 70 percent of employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience, preferably an internship or co-op.They give you an advantage over competition, increase your likelihood of getting hired and help ensure that you are on the right career path.

The time to apply is now and if you are not sure where to start, let us give you some tips.

Talk to people who can help you pick an internship that benefits you the most!

It is perfectly normal to not know what kind of an internship is the best fit for you. Samantha Munsch, the Assistant Director of Internships and Experiential Education at Temple, said that students can stop at the Career Center for a same-day, 15-minute appointment or schedule a 30-minute appointment through Handshake, the Career Center’s innovative recruitment and career management platform.

“Oftentimes, it can be helpful to talk out loud and strategize an internship search plan to gain experience,” she added.

Know where to look! Sign up for job offers both at school and online!

Mark Kaloko, the Senior Career Coach at Temple Career Center said that students can find internship opportunities by searching on Handshake, which has over 200,000 employers in the system. Each college also provides specific job databases, such as Klein Connect or FoxNet.

“We have teams designated to assist students and we want to help them find their path,” Kaloko added.

Look out for career fairs and other professional development events on campus. Research companies and organizations you are interested in, and network with peers who might know about positions you have not considered this far!

Outside of college, outlets such as indeed.com allow you to search specific fields and positions. You can get offers delivered straight to your email!

“One of my favorite places to send students to look for internships is PhilaCulture’s Job Bank,” said Saleem Ahmed, adjunct professor at Temple University who oversees internships for credits at Klein College. “Their website has a great list of paid and unpaid internships that is regularly updated.”

Your resume needs to be well organized!

Do you know how long employers spend looking at your resume? Six seconds! In six seconds your CV either makes a good impression or falls into the black hole forever.

Kaloko said that undergraduate students should fit their resume on one page. It should include education, skills and experience. “Use action verbs and bullet points on your resume,” he added.

Make sure your resume is neat. And remember, soft skills belong on a cover letter, not your resume.

Let your cover letter shine!

Whatever you do, do not copy the basic cover-letter outline from the internet.        

“Cover letter needs to be tailored to each job description and bring up relevant experience for each,” Kaloko said. He added that cover letters should be three to four paragraphs long, include intro, relevant experience and a reason why student decided to apply for the position.

Make sure to mention why this position is the best fit for you based on your previous experience, your passion and future career goals.

Ahmed added that spell-check cannot fix all the problems in your writing, so letting a friend or colleague review your cover letter to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward is a really good idea.

Don’t underestimate the interview preparation!

Do your research beforehand! Prove that you know what company you just raved about in your cover letter and be specific. It will give you an advantage over other applicants. Don’t forget to ask (smart) questions!

Munsch said that knowing if the company has made any recent news

announcements can be helpful.

“I try to anticipate what questions will be asked and I simply write out my responses,” Ahmed added. “I find that writing is a really good way to remember what I want to say.”

Be yourself, be confident in your abilities and make the best impression!

Being nervous about an upcoming interview is human. Knowing what you want to say will help you stay calm.

Munsch said that the best way to make a good impression during an interview is to know the company’s mission statement and values. “Any way you can tie your past experience to the company values will help you succeed.”