Working during college can be a huge struggle. But the first part of that struggle is finding work during college. Luckily there are many community resources dedicated to the search for work.
1. Your School
Consider working at your school or at the very least checking with your school to see if they have any job postings. Your school may also be able to match you with paid and unpaid internships that are related to your field of study. In fact, some schools go as far as REQUIRING internships for students in certain programs.
2. Your Place of Worship
As strange as it may sound, your place of worship is often a brilliant place where you can make lots of connections and learn of new job opportunities. If you do not have a place of worship consider trying to make connections through a club of people with similar interests. Often times there are plenty of job opportunities within circles of acquaintances. Churches also have job opportunities posted on bulletin boards.
3. Your Family
Consider working for a relative who has a family business. Note: this may not work for those who are seeking internships for academic reasons as most schools will prohibit students from earning credit based on an internship completed at a family business. If you are looking for an internship for credit it may be best to look elsewhere.
4. Uncle Sam (Government)
Yup, you guessed it! One of the largest employers of students is good old Uncle Sam, AKA the United States government. The same is often true for other governments. The United States government offers a variety of internships. The main program is the Pathways program. Internships in this program are typically highly competitive but also very well-paying. Expect the selection process to include a security clearance. Unfortunately at this time the program is not open to those who are noncitizens.
5. Look at your Town’s Largest Employers
Look at your town’s largest employers. Consider what type of industry your town is known for. Certain towns are known as tourist destinations. Tourist destinations in particular often hire students during the summer which coincides with when most school breaks occur. Of course other industries also have many different programs available to students.
6. Research Opportunities with Large Corporations
Large, nationwide corporations often offer internship opportunities to promising and upcoming students with lots of talent in a specific area. Large corporations like Target offer a variety of internships in the IT, business analysis, marketing, and pharmacology fields. Other corporations such as Petsmart
7. Look for Startups
Startup companies are looking for young, eager, fresh-faced and brilliant people with lots of different ideas. Start-ups may not always offer the most pay but it can be great knowing that you contributed to something as monumental as a new company. New companies offer a chance to grow your career and show your leadership skills.
8. Do Volunteer Work
Okay, so maybe it’s not paid work! But volunteering can provide you with a lot of great life experience. It also looks impressive on a resume and if you volunteer somewhere there is a significant chance that, if you play your cards right, it could lead to lots of more permanent employment. It also shows a lot of drive and initiative. But more importantly it shows that you have compassion and that money is not your biggest goal in life. Future employers will look for ‘whole people’ who respect others and have compassion. Volunteering is a nice, big way for you to show that to a prospective new boss for any paid job.
How do you define being smart? For most people, it is a mixture of several positive attributes like intelligence, foresightedness, quick-wittedness and being a fine performer. Apart from this, smart people have smart ways of getting things done. That said, the question that now remains is what you need to do in order to stay smart in college and beyond? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking along these lines.
No Alternative for Books
Contrary to popular belief, smart gadgets do not make you smart – knowledge does! If you are hoping to become smart, be prepared to read through different books and educational resources that enlighten you with different possibilities and existences. Books or resources do not imply your course work. There is a world beyond your school curriculum that is waiting your perusal. Read about things that interest you and be open to learn new things. Such a mindset usually gets you further than your fellow mates.
You can begin by developing a habit of reading thirty minutes before getting into bed. Regardless of whether it is literature, stories, fiction, history, geography or any other genre for that matter; just pick up a book and read it for thirty minutes before getting into bed. This does not only mean whatever you read remains with you for long but also that you will be reading about things you would otherwise not be familiar with.
Best Use of Modern Gadgets
Smartphones, tablets and other similar gadgets have become more of a need of today’s world. If you are fortunate enough to have such devices, put them to the best possible use. The best part about Smartphones is that there is an application for every task. So if you like taking notes at random or you would like to record every idea that crosses your mind, there is an application just for it. Moreover, you can even read books (eBooks to be more appropriate), articles, magazines and other resources on your phone. This not only reduces the weight of your baggage, it also makes reading possible anywhere and everywhere!
Updated With Current Events
Smart people know what is going on around them. So it is best not to lock down your sensors to your surroundings. Read the news regularly and find out details about things that are of interest to you. Even though there are aspects of your surroundings that you may not be willing to research (for instance, some people may find politics quite disturbing), it is best to read a little about it nevertheless. This keeps you updated with the current information.
On a technological note, there are applications that help you sift through news from different publications on the same platform. As said previously, make the best use of technology that you are in possession of!
Playing Intellectual Games
It is not possible to remain surrounded by literature all the time. You need to relax every now and then in order to prevent a burnout. However, you can make the most of this time period by playing intellectual games. Go for crosswords and Sudoku instead of racing and/or fighting games. Look for games that require strategy and mind skills. So even in your leisure time, you are learning something through games!
It has been scientifically proven that meditation does not only help you in relieving stress and clearing your mind but also promotes the development of new brain cells. Meditation can help you in improving focus, attention span and memory. Consequently, you will be able to remember and retain more information and thus get smarter by the day. Reserve at least thirty minutes of your day for meditation – you will see noticeable improvements from the first day!
The Right Internship - Can Make Your Career
Many college students, even before nearing the end of their studies have thoughts about where they want to intern. They worry that they may not find a company to accept them or that they will end up at the wrong company. To minimize these worries, there are ways graduates can go about selecting and short-listing the best companies to contact.
It is important to keep in mind that internship does not mean free or almost free labor. While there are paid and unpaid internship, the main aim is to provide the intern with knowledge of work situations in the real world. Unfortunately, many companies have lost sight of this fact over the years. Many now see interns as temporary labourers and nothing more. While working as an unpaid intern is fine, make sure that the placement will see you gaining useful job knowledge and experience.
In certain industries, such as finance and technology, internships are a good way to get your foot in the door. When applying for jobs, an internship will count as work experience. As such, make sure that you select the right one as this is useful on your resume when you look for fulltime work. According to a 2011 US News report, “Only 30.7 percent of graduating seniors without internship experience received a job offer after graduation compared to 42.3 percent among those with internships, according to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Interns got higher salary offers, too—former interns were offered a median $45,301 salary compared to $34,601 among non-interns.”
Choosing an Internship
For the graduate who truly wants to get something out of an internship, the following steps will help them find the right program.
Determine Which Field You Want to Work In
Some people make the mistake of accepting any internship they are offered, seeing it as just a means to gain experience. This is a big mistake as you will not benefit from the training. When looking for a company, select those in the industries in which you want to work.
Do the Research
To get a head start on where to go for valuable work experience, start doing some research. Find out if the companies you are interested in have internship programs. If they do, find out what they look for in interns and how you should go about applying for that position. One good source online for finding these positions is internship.com.
Use Your Network
This is good source of information as family members, friends, and your college advisor can point you in the right direction. If you don’t ask, you will never know.
Attend Job Fairs
Career fairs offer the opportunity to meet people from the companies or industries you are interested in. Make sure to take copies of your resume and be prepared to sell yourself on the spot if you are lucky enough to meet the company’s representatives.
Send Out Letters/Emails to Companies
Find out which is most appropriate for the company you are interested in and start applying. Your contact letter or email must be memorable in a good way. You can also call to find out if the company is taking interns or holiday workers. Contacting companies shows the kind of initiative some employers look for.
Find out Who will be Your Supervisor
Knowing your supervisor or supervisors is also important. The kind of experience you gain will to a great extent rest on the person under whose wings you are placed. If possible, try to find out if the person is one who likes sharing information and creating challenges. This can be difficult, but you can get useful tips from past interns. If you get called for an interview, don’t be shy about discussing this.
To ensure that the internship experience is the right one for you, don’t hesitate to ask questions during the interview. Questions you can ask include:
- Will I be allowed to work on projects alone
- What level of supervision will be provided
- How much experience does my supervisor have with working with interns
You may have to ask yourself these questions to refine your search:
- Can you afford to relocate
- Can you afford to work for free
- Will working with that particular company help your career
- What do I really want to do
If you really want to get the best experience in a field that interests you, some or all of the above steps will be helpful. In the final analysis do not take an internship because the offer comes from a company with a ‘big name’; select one that offers learning opportunities. An internship is a valuable opportunity, don’t just settle – go for what you want.