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Summer job experiences give students a leg up in the working world 

It’s that time of the year again.

No, I’m not talking about the Olympics, preparing for midterms or surviving the endless snow storms that February has brought Villanova so far.

I’m talking about the countless applications, the ongoing requests for transcripts, the continuous resume revisions, the writing of cover letters and of course the back-and-forth traveling for interviews.

You guessed it—it’s that time to start hunting for internships. February through March is when GoNOVA receives an exceptional number of searches for internships in many different fields.

Why? Well, because Villanovans realize that summers are no longer meant for hanging out with friends, relaxing by the pool and leisurely reading. Students realize that sooner or later they will be a part of the “real world,” and the best way to get involved is through internships.

From the Career Fair, to Bridge Society events, and to the many Professional Development classes offered at Villanova; the University is sending a message to students−start looking for internships.

Internships are the best way for students to gain experience in a “real world” environment. By interning, students may find themselves extremely attracted to their desired field, or they may see why a particular field is not exactly suitable for them.

The old saying “you’ll never know until you try,” speaks truthfully under these circumstances. The University continues to encourage Villanovans to put their search engines to work and try an internship out.

Internships may be paid or unpaid, but in the end it is all about the experience. The bottom line is that students should take advantage. Whether you are freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, it’s never too early or too late for an internship.

Participating in an internship also gives students exposure in fields varying from business, law, journalism, education, government, non-profit organizations, television/media and more.

Internships allow students to see and understand how a professional work-field functions. By interning, students gain an experience, which they otherwise would not have been exposed to from sitting in a classroom.

Although the classroom environment educates and prepares students for their desired positions, it is through the internship itself that students will find their career paths.

Easier said than done though.

Finding the right internship takes persistence, patience and a lot of will power. In order not to get overwhelmed from the endless applications and repeatable emails and cover letters, students need to take the process one step at a time.

The first question to ask oneself is “What qualities do I have that would attract a company or other employer?”

Many employers don’t focus solely on past experiences, but are also concerned about what courses students have taken, their work ethics and their strengths that can contribute to their field.

It is thus essential to find a way to build a relationship with the desired employer. Emails are convenient, but phone calls are more effective; so pick up the phone and sell yourselves.

Then one might ask, “What companies or work-fields are appealing to me?”

The cover letter is a chance for students to elaborate on their resumes and as well as to give the employers a taste of their characters.

From there, just let the searching begin. GoNOVA is a wonderful tool for students to explore different fields from their dorm rooms.

The hardest part may not be finding an internship, but getting the one that was desired.

Here’s the good news though: when one door closes, another door really does open. Therefore, keep an open mind.

Don’t be discouraged if a top company did not get back to you. Keep emailing them and be persistent. If you happen to get a call back saying that you are not suitable for their position, it’s okay—keep searching.

Think about it. GoNOVA receives so many job and internship openings daily from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast. Whether you are a business student, an engineer or in the college of liberal arts, opportunities are available for you.

The only way to take advantage is to keep searching and not give up.

Think about applying for internships as one extra class. All the cover letter writing, resume updating and requesting letters of recommendations is time-consuming. However, it’s worth it because it will put you one step closer to your ideal internship and perhaps even a future job.

In the midst of all the stress remember to breathe—and then continue breathing.

Summer is only three months away, and perhaps so is your dream job.

 

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