LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
5 tips for college students looking for internships
robby renshaw, human resources specialist
Internships are meaningful opportunities to gain experience and job prospects before you’ve even obtained your diploma. With the potential for payment, professional development, and valuable connections, it’s no wonder that competition among candidates can be so fierce. To distinguish yourself among the rest, you must use all the tools and resources at your disposal. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered!
Explore our top five tips for pursuing internships in college below. We’re confident that this advice — combined with your work ethic! — can land you the summer, semester, or even life-long job of your dreams. You never know what these opportunities will lead to, so we are here to help you get your foot in the door.
1. Make Your Network Work for You
Networking goes beyond nodding and smiling while you stuff preferred business cards into your pockets. As our world becomes more digital and, as a result, more connected, you’ll be able to find businesses and their opportunities around every corner. And here’s the secret: they’re looking for you, too!
Forming new connections will not only benefit your future job chances, but it can also be really fun! Try out these three avenues for pursuing lasting professional relationships:
- Reconnect with previous mentors
- Meeting up with high school teachers, sports coaches, and family friends will bring more than just laughs. These community leaders can serve as excellent advocates, vouching for your character as you apply for jobs. They’ll also each come with their own set of connections and experiences that could point you towards your next job. Maintain and strengthen these relationships so that they’re not only hearing from you when you need something.
- Attend career fairs and other recruiting events
- A sea of booths can be a little overwhelming, but it will hold so many opportunities! Collect contact information and be sure to follow up with new faces you meet.
- Don’t be afraid to take things virtual, too. Now, more than ever, companies are looking to use technology to interact with you over Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or other digital resources.
- Utilize LinkedIn
- LinkedIn is a digital record of your professional network. If kept up to date, it can also serve as an easily accessed and portable resume or portfolio.
2. Don’t Count Out Your Campus
Colleges love being able to report high numbers of student job placement post-graduation. They want you to succeed! Take advantage of all the resources your college or university has to offer.
As you begin your job hunt, make a habit of regularly checking job boards. A campus career center is also a great resource for learning about opportunities and forming relationships with companies. While you’re in the Career Center, be sure to participate in professional development programming. Resume-writing nights, professional dress tips, and mock interviews provide valuable advice and increase confidence.
3. The Sky’s the Limit — Not Your Major
Although we all want relevant experience, don’t limit your search to solely internships within your major. Diverse experience will help make you a more well-rounded candidate, and many skills may overlap.
It is also important not to bog yourself down with too much coursework in one semester. Don’t get us wrong — completing your degree (and in a timely manner) is a huge part of college. But packing your schedule too tight can infringe on your ability to participate in internships or extracurriculars. Give yourself some wiggle room!
4. Do Your Research
Internships are a lot more meaningful — and fun! — when you’re with a company you care about. Do your research before applying and keep a list of companies whose missions align with your views or get you excited to get working. When you’re ready for a new job, reach out! Even if you don’t see any opportunities explicitly listed, companies can often find room for passionate people.
Resources like Google, LinkedIn, and Indeed can help you learn about the experiences of prior employees and what you can expect from a job. Remember your worth; you do not need to accept a less-than-ideal job just to build your resume. Keep looking! There’s plenty of options out there.
5. Stay Strategic and Adaptable
We’ve all been there: you read a job description and immediately fall in love. You may pour all your energy into writing the perfect cover letter and recruiting the best recommendations. While you absolutely should apply for these “dream jobs,” it’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan or two.
Create a list of your goals. What do you want to achieve through your internship? What value do you hope to bring to the company? What would you like to learn? These will help to guide your search and ease any disappointment of rejections. Keep your eyes on the prize, and you’ll be there before you know it!
Lutz collaborates with businesses and individuals like you daily to help provide solutions and boost success. But we’re not only here to give you tips — we also have opportunities! If you’re in search of an internship that will develop your skillset and provide unmatched experience, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also browse all of our current opportunities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ROBBY RENSHAW + HUMAN RESOURCES SPECIALIST
Robby Renshaw is a Human Resources Specialist at Lutz. She is responsible for campus recruiting for our Omaha and Lincoln offices, as well as employee relations and retention. In addition, she assists with performance management and onboarding.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Campus Recruiting
- Lutz Internship Program
- Performance Management
- Employee Relations & Retention
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Society for Human Resource Management, Member
- The Landing Crew, Member
- BS in Professional Psychology, Bellevue University, Bellevue, NE
- A.A.S in General Studies & International and Global Studies, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE
- Salvation Army, Volunteer
- ThriVinci, Past Board Member
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