After finishing up my junior year at Franklin Pierce I started my internship at New Hampshire Public Radio. I have learned that internships really are key in the career of a college student.
When I was an incoming freshman I was not even thinking about doing one. There is so much already going on, and even though having one is only a recommendation for most majors and not a requirement, it not looks good on a resume and helps you to get firsthand experience.
I personally think students should do one after both their sophomore and junior years if they can, but make sure they are not the same internship.
Having different kinds of internships on your resume will help too. Employers in today’s economy like to see that you have worked in a diverse atmosphere, but you should also choose to intern at a place that caters to your major.
Networking is a great thing that results from internships. When you are done at the end of the summer be sure to send your boss, and any other person who helped you gain experience there, a handwritten thank-you card.
It does not have to be extravagant. You can buy a pack of mini blank cards and write a few sentences of gratitude. Make sure to leave your email address in the card as well, so that they can contact you if they need to… maybe if they have a job opening in the near future!
In today’s tough times many families are struggling to pay for college and basic necessities, so a student may need to work a summer job to be able to afford going back to school in the fall.
For people in this situation, my advice is: try as hard as you can to make it work. Talk to your boss at either the internship or your job and figure out a schedule that will allow you to intern at least once if not twice a week on consecutive days. Maybe work at your internship Mondays and Tuesdays and work the closing shift at your job on those days as well. Sure the days will be long, but in the long run your hard work will be worth it.