Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Still Searching for a Summer Internship? - Here's some Tips

Still searching for an internship?  Don't give up - keep searching and do so with confidence and determination.
It is true that local employers and sometimes national firms, contact university career planning offices, business deans and department chairs, and faculty with requests for interns. I try to keep this blog up-to-date with postings that come my way.  But don't rely just on that!
Area employers contact our college with internship opportunities almost weekly. In turn, these opportunities are promoted to business students via email, web site postings and word of mouth. Faculty make announcements in class and our student advisors point students in the right direction. So by a variety of communications, interested students are informed about the various internship opportunities. But the number of internship opportunities that show up at the doorstep of a college or university is never enough to meet the demand.  For example, our program grants credit to about 100 internships each year.  Our junior and senior business majors are eligible to do an internship for credit and there are about 800 of them.
Some schools such as the world famous Fuqua School of business at Duke University solicit the assistance of students who have already gone through the process of landing an internship. If you know a student who has completed a good internship, pick their brain and ask for referrals.
Each year the career management center at Duke selects sixty or so students that are career
fellows—second-year students that have already been through the job-search process and have had successful summer internships. They work with the first-year students, by industry and functional area, on résumés, cover letters, and mock interviews. Peers helping interested students find solid internships are one possibility and Duke has mastered that approach in a very formal process.  Less formal processes of peer help can come about by active involvement in college clubs and associations.   Are you in any clubs?
I suggest that you visit our Career Development Center (located behind the UMASS Pass office in the Campus Center).  Ask for David LePage (dlepage1@umassd.edu and phone number: extension 8629.) Talk to David about how to refine your search using resources such as the UMASS Dartmouth Careerlink portal (http://www.umassd.edu/career/careerlink/).  David tells me there are positions on there (both jobs and internships) that aren't getting the hits we expect.  You must use as many sources as possible to find opportunities and to send in your resume for consideration.  Make sure you attend the career events planned at UMD.  Go to the Career Development Center's web site to see what is planned (http://www.umassd.edu/career/) there is a calendar of events there and they do have some career fairs and forums planned for this spring that could land you a few good leads.

Use Indeed.com to conduct searches and when you find some good hits, set it up as an email alert.  Respond quickly to anything you see that is close to your ideal internship. 
Think about the type of internship that will help you meet your personal goals. Think about your reasons for wanting an internship. Make a list of your interests, skills, career aspirations, and what exactly you want to accomplish in the 15 weeks or so that you will be interning. For example, for an accounting student planning on a career in public accounting, an internship with a local CPA firm or a summer internship with one of the national firms makes sense. However, if an accounting major wants to go into management accounting, an internship as a staff accountant or internal auditor might make more sense.
If you find an acceptable internship and want to earn credit, please get in touch (mgriffin@umassd.edu).  We have until early June to put something together for the summer internship (3 credits for a business elective). After the summer, set your eyes on the fall semester.  If you have something solid lined up for the Fall, let me know so I can get you into the Fall internship course.  The course is 100% online via myCourses.  To enroll, you need my approval and I need assurance/proof that you have a quality internship lined up, have at least a 2.5 GPA, have earned at least 60 credits and that you will work at least 135 credits in the internship.  The internship must be done concurrent with the course.
I will have another blog entry soon that will address some tips on what you should do if you get an interview for an internship.