As I am approaching the end of my college career, I think back on the last four years and realize that it went almost as fast as the Dragster at Cedar Point.
When I started my freshman year at Notre Dame, I was pretty clueless about what I wanted to do with my so-called “life.” I started off as a political science major and soon realized that I really didn’t like politics. I took a newswriting class and started to realize that my passion was more focused on writing, so I changed my major to communication.
So what does any of that have to do with internships? Well let me tell you. My junior year came quick, and I realized something: What the hell was I going to do about my internship? I needed it to graduate. So I started to look at my options and talk to people.
Finally I was able to find one at The Grog Shop in Coventry, which is perfect for me, I love music. I even got a second internship last summer with Cleveland Scene Magazine. I can say that I hit the jackpot when it came to doing what I love, and I learned a few really great lessons working at those internship sites.
But unlike my experiences, I know a few people who have either A.) not been able to find internships or B.) not been able to find internships that have to do with anything that they are interested in doing.
So here are a few tips that every student should know. Whether a freshman or a senior these should help you out:
- Do NOT expect an internship/job to fall into your lap: Many students just expect a position to magically appear out of the sky; poof you have a job. Sadly it doesn’t work that way. You have to go out and look for it. And go to Career Services. They have staff specifically there to help you with this search.
- Go above and beyond: Even though Career Services is there to provide help, you are allowed to go outside of Notre Dame and search for your own internships. Start looking on sites of places you find interesting. Maybe your dream place to work has an internship. You will never know unless you try and look.
- Contact, connect and impress: Contact employers about possible internship opportunities. Call them, email them, tell them what you are good at. Why do you stand out? Don’t just stop at one. Sooner or later at least one is going to get back to you!
- Use your connections: If you are the friend of a friend of the boss’ daughter or your dad is the friend of the manager, NAME DROP. Sure it might sound a bit pompous. But trust me, they want to help out friends. So do not be afraid to drop that bass (needed to have at least one music reference)!
- Keep up the good work: Once you have found the internship, completed the paperwork and started, work your ass off. Never expect to be doing any of the super important jobs to start off. If they ask you to go get coffee or hang fliers or write something you have no interest in writing, YOU JUST DO IT! You show them you are loyal and trustworthy, they might even let you do important stuff or ask you to stick around!
There are countless internship opportunities in your field of interest, but remember not to stop anything short of satisfied. Career services, advisers, professors and school staff are always there to help you! Reach out, impress, get the offer and Rock On!