The Internship Advantage

We are fast approaching the half-way point of this semester with fall break next week, a perfect time for you and your student to have a conversation about doing a summer internship. And fall break is a great time to research internship opportunities by doing informational interviews/job shadowing with organizations in your home area. We thought that you would enjoy the article below by HPU parent and Career Coach, Lisa G. Silvershein. Lisa founded Ark Career Coaching in New Jersey in 2004 to support clients through their career lifecycle. Regarding internships, Lisa states “internships are an investment in a student’s future. Regardless of whether a student receives course credit, money or just works for free, there are many benefits of interning for a company or in an industry of interest. Internships do more than help students build their resume. They also give students an opportunity to see how the information that they are learning in the classroom relates to the world of work, they enable students to establish meaningful relationships with people who will become part of their professional network and they are a way for students to ‘try on’ a career.”

Please remind your student that professional advisors in Career & Internship Services are available for appointments to offer guidance and support as they research and apply for internship opportunities.

We would like to note that as a direct result of her summer internship, Lisa Silvershein’ s daughter, Emma Silvershein, an accounting major and Magna Cum Laude graduate of HPU’s class of 2014, is now employed as an Auditor with  CohnReznick, a large accounting, tax, and business advisory firm in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. During her internship Emma worked on the audit engagement team with new clients. She was assigned tasks related to employee benefit plan audits. Her internship helped her to solidify her interest in working in audit services, and clearly, the partners of this firm were impressed with Emma’s skill set and work ethic. Not every student’s internship leads them directly to a paid position, but quality, relevant internships dramatically increase the chances of future employment in the student’s desired field.

– Kellie McLeod, Career & Internship Services

 

Internships, Why Bother?

By Lisa G. Silvershein, HPU Parent

Internships are an investment in a student’s future. Regardless of whether a student receives course credit or money, the many benefits of interning range from adding meaningful experience to network building to enhancing résumés.

This is the time of year when students are finalizing their summer internships. Some opportunities are unpaid and others provide a nominal salary that might only cover lunch and commuting. A few lucky students secure an internship where they make “real” money, but they are few and far between.

Questions that I am often asked include:

  • What is the value of doing an internship?
  • Is it a waste of time?
  • How can an internship opportunity be maximized?

Internships are a very important component of a student’s education. They are beneficial on many levels:

  • They enable students to gain valuable experience in their field of interest.
  • They help students determine whether they like the field of work they plan to enter because they are exposed to many facets of the industry. They are able to make meaningful observations as they are exposed to a variety of job possibilities.
  • Internships provide opportunities for students to build their resume by enabling them to add meaningful experiences.
  • Interns have an advantage over other job applicants upon graduation. They have been able to begin building their professional network by establishing contacts in their field of interest. They have more confidence and experience in a world outside academia.
  • Internships provide an opportunity for students to identify their strengths. They are able to see, firsthand, how they can use them to their advantage in a professional setting.
  • During internships people are very willing to tell the students all about their jobs, their career paths and how they can enter the field. Once somebody graduates and has a real “job” in the same setting, coworkers are usually more guarded and it is not as easy to get them to share information regarding the details of their jobs. It is not as easy to try out different positions within an organization as an employee rather than an intern.
  • Students who have worked as interns have stronger resumes, their interviews contain work related examples of the contributions they can make to a potential employer and they have professional references.
  • They frequently lead to job opportunities.

Internships are often an investment in a student’s future. Regardless of whether a student receives course credit or money, there are many benefits to being an intern. Internships often shorten the job search process after graduation because they have relevant experience on their resume and contacts that may help them get their foot in the door to a desired job or company.

As an intern, it is important to strategically maximize the opportunity. It is important to take steps to maximize the exposure and consciously use it to set the stage for future employment.

Top Ten Ways Maximize an Internship, Summer or Part-time Job

  1. Arrive on time.
  2. Dress for success. Pay attention to what people are wearing and dress accordingly.
  3. Accept all challenges and learn from them.
  4. Consider the experience as an opportunity to gain career clarification.
  5. Develop meaningful connections and build your network.
  6. Actively demonstrate your strengths.
  7. Maintain a professional demeanor at all times.
  8. Treat everyone with respect and respond to their requests with enthusiasm. Introduce yourself to everyone within the organization and always offer a solid handshake.
  9. Do your work with a smile and get the job done.
  10. Ask for a letter of recommendation, send a final thank you note and stay in touch with your professional contacts periodically throughout the year.

I encourage all students to commit to doing a few internships before they launch their careers.

Please let me know about your internship experiences!

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