Landing an internship is one of the most important career moves you can make while still in college. These days, it takes more than just a diploma in hand to land THE job. Nyack College Intern Coordinator, Bud DiFluri, says students who have an internship while in college are much more likely to get a job after graduation than their colleagues who do not have internship experience. An internship will give you the career experience, practical know-how of your future career, and much needed job references.
In preparing this blog post, I interviewed three current Nyack College students who had internships this past summer. I will be referring to them throughout the blog:
-Fabiola Moise: Senior Nursing major, interned at Nyack Hospital
-Raquel Undheim: Senior Communications major, interned with Girlie Action, a PR firm for indie music artists.
-Graham Cory: Senior Accounting major, interned with Deloitte Tax LLP
- Use Current Connections
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” This rings true in many facets of life, including internship hunting. Before you begin throwing your resume into the abyss of many job sites, first use the connections in the networks immediately around you.
- Professors- College professors are a wealth of knowledge. Those who have been at your institution a number of years have seen multiple students come through and know internships other students have done in the past or have connections of their own. Both Moise and Cory found out about their internship through speaking with their professors.
- College Career Center– Make an appointment with the career center at your school early in the school year. Undheim saw a posting on Nyack’s career board for open internship at Girlie Action.
- Recent Graduates- Ask the department head in your major where graduates from your institution are working. Cory found his connections with both business professors at Nyack College and graduates to be a key part of landing his internship at Deloitte, a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Cory stated, “It is important to build strong relationships with people and be assertive in maintaining those relationships throughout your college experience and career”.
- Become Resume Ready
- Buzzwords- Many companies/organizations use specific “buzzwords” that align with the mission of the organization. Prior to submitting your resume or cover letter, read up on the company and incorporate some of these words into both your cover letter and resume.
- Highlight applicable experience/involvement- Although that summer you spent working the French fry fryer at the McDonald’s in your hometown may not perfectly align with your career aspirations to be a copywriter, highlight the aspects of your position that do. Such as working in a fast pace environment, being customer service oriented, and interacting with various coworkers. Include any student organizations or Honor’s Societies in your school that you take part in. Cory has taken advantage of his time at Nyack College by working in the Admissions Office, Tutoring for Principles of Accounting, and being a member of the Nyack College Business Club.
- Let your passion shine through- Undheim says her “knowledge and love for music and writing” helped her most in landing her internship with the PR firm for Indie Artists, Girlie Action. If you are excited about learning and passionate about the mission of the company, this needs to be evident in your cover letter and interview.
- Take Advantage
Lastly, take advantage of your time at your internship. Don’t treat it just a check mark off your “College To-Do” list. For Cory, the key things that helped him have a great experience at Deloitte was “building relationships, asking questions, and being confident”. Soak in the experience and knowledge of those around you and constantly ask yourself if this is what you see yourself doing after college graduation.
Fabiola Moise described her internship as an “eye-opener” into what the world of nursing consists of. And was able to hands-on put into practice what she has been taught in her nursing courses.
Graham Cory actually accepted a full-time offer with Deloitte Tax LLP upon his graduation this upcoming May.
For Raquel Undheim, she discovered after her internship that it wasn’t the career path she wanted after all, “The beauty of an internship is that you can try something out and really find out what your interests are. I kind of realized after doing this internship that I don’t want to be in public relations and that I’d rather be making the music, which is why I found another internship for the fall as a music production intern!”
Article written by Rachel Borden, Admissions Counselor for Nyack College Rockland Campus