If you ask any college junior, “What are your plans for the summer?” Their first response is “a summer internship.” Finding the elusive summer internship reflecting a specific field of study can be difficult. For many students this struggle begins in early January, when all take to the Internet searching for the perfect position. The search cannot only be tedious but down right frustrating. You are not only competing with other majors from Saint Joseph’s, but students who attend Penn, Drexel, Temple, and other universities in the area. This becomes a struggle for many of us in the SJU community; we need a way to set ourselves apart from the rest of the crowd.
An internship is viewed as a rite of passage to many college students. In the business world an internship is seen as a necessary evil to obtaining that perfect job upon graduation. Many college students do not want a mundane internship that consists of long hours, little to no pay, and a lack of purpose. Internships should provide students with the ability to learn and the opportunity to grow. Finding an internship is difficult to begin with, but finding that perfect internship is even harder.
Personally, I know that I have spent endless hours in a day searching for that special internship. I have searched and applied for numerous positions based on a given criteria with no limitations on where they are located. Last summer I was fortunate to obtain an internship at Sports Radio WIP and had the time of my life.
It all started when I attended a journalism conference held at another college, it was open to all college students and turned out to be one of my best decisions. While at the conference I was able to network with many different professionals. One that stood out to me was CBS Sports Radio, a parent company of WIP. At the conference I noticed that I stood apart from other attendees. This was due to the fact that I was a Hawk in a sea of Temple Owls. When I applied for the internship at WIP, I truly believed that the label of being a Hawk set me apart. The experiences and knowledge obtained through SJU provided me with the competitive edge.
My time at WIP Sports Radio was both informative and exciting. I was able to learn from many individuals with various backgrounds. Through this unique opportunity, I gained the knowledge of what it takes to work in the field of sports radio. I did all of this while making contacts that could lead to future networking opportunities. The only downside of the internship was that it was unpaid, but I was able to obtain college credit towards graduation. Receiving college credit while having an unforgettable experience was a wonderful opportunity. Getting my mandatory credit internship out of the way, I am now looking forward to taking the next step towards that rare paid internship. This form of internship can be difficult to land especially in the sporting world.
All students want a paid internship, and as many people know an internship is a step in the right direction for a career after graduation. When thinking about an internship for the summer you need to consider the type of internship, the knowledge, and the skills you hope to gain from the experience. Look for large companies who have the ability to pay. Remember some summer internship opportunities become available as early as October or November, meaning start the search early.
When searching for internships you have to be open to all ideas. It is important to be flexible and think outside of the box. Networking is a very important aspect of getting a job. When meeting a professional there are two rules to follow, get their name and a way to contact them regarding future internship opportunities. Besides networking there are several other ways to find internships such as: talking with family and friends, making cold calls, or doing your research on the companies you would like to intern with. The most important thing to remember is to never give up the intern search.
The job search is a process and everyone is going through the same hardships. But, as a student you have to remember that the internship search is a fun and unique experience. Applying and interviewing to several different places is an opportunity that cannot be matched. All students want that ideal internship, but in some cases it is difficult to find. From my perspective it can become stressful as each day progresses without a response from an application or interview. You may hear friends and classmates discussing their internships, which may make you feel nervous and uneasy about your situation. But, you have to remember that this is a process and it will take time. Students just need to have confidence and faith in themselves. Due to the students’ ability here at Saint Joseph’s University, success will follow everyone.