Turning in a resume that boasts a GPA of 4.0 is something to be proud of, but it’s not enough to make you stand out in a job interview. When you’re ready to start a career, there’s something that matters more: experience.
Nine out of ten employers look for students who completed an internship. Internships lasting at least three months are the most desired. College seniors who interned accepted higher salaries after graduation than those who did not intern prior to graduation. Recent trends show internships are on the rise.
Internships are quickly becoming the new interview. If you secure an internship with an organization, you have taken the first step towards getting a job there. You should consider each day you walk into the office another interview.
A good company recognizes interns as the future. If your skills and attitude meet expectations, and they have already invested time in teaching you about the company, you are likely to fair better in a post-graduate interview than someone who never interned at the company.
Working in a professional environment has its perks, and one of them is free training. You may learn to use a program or earn a certification that others would typically have to pay for in order to add to their resume. Internships allow you to take advantage of free training that you won’t find in your college courses.
The more interviews you complete, the more confidently you can answer interview questions. When an interviewer asks you how you handle certain situations, or inquires about a specific skill set, you have the ability to show how you used certain skills in a professional environment. This speaks volumes for what you are capable of. Experience and confidence are a winning combination.
Connections are important in any industry. If you aren’t offered a job at the company you intern at simply because there aren’t any openings, use the connections you made as references for other employment opportunities. In addition to asking for references, ask your boss if he or she has any connections they might be able to put you in touch with.
Choosing a Career Path
It should be said that internships can also help you determine what you absolutely don’t want to do. You may be thrilled that you were hired as an intern, only to find out a few weeks later that the company or the job just isn’t right for you.
Internships enable you to test the waters before jumping too far in. You may even decide to change your major or try new courses as your interests change and develop.
Interns often get special perks you wouldn’t get at a normal student job. You may be offered a travel opportunity, VIP passes or other free items. While these won’t help your resume, they’re a nice perk. Just be sure you’re on your best behavior when receiving or using them. Remember, your internship is an interview.
Completing an internship provides you with experience that a classroom simply cannot. Take advantage of this stepping stone while you’re in college to open more doors and gain a better understanding of the path you want to take as a graduate.
University is exhausting and most students want to do nothing more than sleep and party when they get the opportunity during the holidays. After frantically studying, finishing assignments and juggling with their extra-curricular activities throughout the year, the holidays are a welcome respite. However, this is also an excellent opportunity for students to extend themselves. Given below are a few suggestions that university students can consider to make the most of their holidays:
Think about your future
The holidays offer the perfect opportunity for students to think about their future and what they want to do in the long term. Think about whether you’re really enjoying your current course. If not, you can always learn more about what other opportunities are available. Think about graduate schemes or jobs that seem appealing. Consider traveling and studying abroad after graduation or as a part of your current course.
Once you start with your work life, you’ll rarely have the opportunity to simply sail off and explore a new destination at your own leisure. University life offers a lot of flexibility and time. For students, traveling offers a lot of value other than its social aspect. A well-traveled individual is well-rounded and worldlier. Traveling can teach students to be independent and provide them an understanding of different cultures. Employers too are more interested today in graduates that are well-traveled because it indicates that they are open to new experiences.
Holidays can make students complacent but to thrive in the competitive job market, students also need something special to stand apart from the competition. There are several paid and voluntary internship opportunities available in every industry today. For students, these opportunities can provide valuable work experience and can lead to a long term position with the organization in the future. Other than formal, advertised internships, students can also network and contact organizations directly to ask them about possible internships. Other than internships, students can also take up jobs during the holidays to save up some money and gain work experience.
University holidays offer students all the time they need to learn new skills. Broaden your horizons and try activities that stimulate and challenge you. Learn a new language, a new sport or even start a small scale business with friends. Extra-curricular activities will add some value to your resume and give you something to talk about during an interview. The experience can also teach you many valuable skills like innovation, communications, leadership and time management.
Use the extra time during the holidays and study for upcoming assessments and exams. This is the perfect time to address some of your weaknesses and look at the feedback you’ve received from tutors throughout the year. Putting in some extra studying hours during the holidays can improve the quality of your work and essays. You can also read books unrelated to your coursework to extend your knowledge base. Challenge yourself and try to read books on topics that you may not be first drawn towards because these may prove to be quite valuable later on.
It is also essential for students to devote enough time for leisure and relaxation. Use the time wisely and productively so you can return back to university fully rejuvenated and excited to study.