Graphic by Abbey Nielsen
As another semester comes to an end, many students are looking ahead to how they will be spending their summer. Not only does the change in the season bring warmer weather, but also a break from school; it gives a chance for students to partake in internships.
“Internships are really popular because many of them are unpaid, so employers like that it is free labor, and the students gain experience,” Career Education Coordinator Patrick Mazzocco said.
Mazzocco suggests that all students do an internship, whether they are for credit or not.
While it would be ideal to start searching and applying for internships in the fall and early spring, Mazzocco said it is not too late to find one.
Anyone who would still be interested in an internship should look for one on Handshake, through the Office of Career Development or by reaching out to a company you’d want to work with and see if you can make an internship with them.
Before going into an internship, you should get a clear idea of what you will be doing.
“Many times, students go into the internship and become glorified paper-pushers,” Mazzocco said. “Have a clear idea of what your interests are and projects you want to do while you are interning at the company.”
While giving advice on what to do during the internship, Mazzocco said students should set realistic expectations.
“You must be aware that, as an intern, you are not the company’s top priority. Also, know that you are not there to completely change the company atmosphere, but you are there to be a part of the atmosphere,” Mazzocco said.
Mazzocco also suggested that students take quality notes during their internship about what they learned, what projects they worked on and who they worked with for networking purposes.
Many degrees require an internship for credit as part of the degree.
The School of Communication and Journalism, COJO, has three bachelor’s degrees that require internships. COJO has 250 undergraduate students and 50 for-credit internships a year.
COJO’s academic advisor, Erica Quam, has met with many students about their internships.
“One big thing that students learn is how much they know at the start of their internship, and even though they are still in school, they can put what they’ve learned to use,” Quam said.