Graduating from Lehigh University was an exciting time in my life. I couldn’t wait to move past the dorm rooms, final exams and group projects and begin my journey as a young professional. By August, I was off to England to work as a teacher for youth girls lacrosse at a school outside of London. I was ecstatic to take an opportunity where I could go abroad for the first time in my life and continue to play and teach a sport that shaped a majority of my youth and college days. My experience in England was eye opening, but when it was all said and done, I came back to the U.S. a little lost as to what to do next.
When I took my first internship in publishing, I hoped to gain on-the-job training and valuable experience to put on my resume. A job offer was in the back of my mind. Even though I wanted to improve my prospects of employment in the future, the opportunity to gain skills was my main motivation. But for me (and all interns), these benefits are not a given; you only get as much out of an internship as you put in. To that end, here are five tips for how to maximize an internship you might pursue. Learn your industry. As a novice, the burden is on you to educate yourself in your field. As a working writer, I read everything from trade magazines to websites and blogs relating to issues about newspapers, publishers, the literary community, etc. (everything related to my field). It makes me more confident in my work to [...]
Higher education is not about money, not at the heart of it. Higher education is about learning to think, and while the ability to think is not as tangible as a cold, hard paycheck, saying “No way!” to college is saying “No way!” to a lifetime of both financial and cultural growth.
Internships are a great way to explore potential career paths and gain solid work experience and, to be perfectly honest, expected to be on entry-level job applicants’ résumés.
Keeping on last week’s focus on youth science education, I can’t help but recall the awesome post-college gig I got as an after-school enrichment program instructor, essentially allowing me to add “science” to the teaching experience section of my résumé. With hindsight, this would have been the perfect job to have landed while in college, or even in high school. And while this boosted my all-around level of experience when on the job hunt, it would have surely helped my undergraduate college applications. Band and peer counseling are good extra-curriculars, but a job that actually got you teaching children? Even better. The majority of after-school academic enrichment programs are run by private companies, and thus, train their own instructors. Four years of college plus a state-run credentialing program are for long-term, serious schoolteachers. As an enrichment program instructor, you’re basically hired by a private company to go out and teach [...]
About a month ago, I published a BG article on why you should get an on-campus job. However, I failed to explain why I am such a staunch supporter of finding employment within your college. Truth be told, my on-campus job experience has been a bigger influence on my professional career than both of my majors combined. Plus, I got paid. It all started when I was a wish-washy college freshman, dabbling in Creative Writing 101 classes and wondering how to minor in philosophy without it cramping my style too much. My dad is a firm believer in tough love, and since I’d moved to San Francisco (one of the most expensive places to live in the world), without any inkling of a specific career path, he periodically reminded me that I would need to start pitching in for living expenses. I racked my brains for interesting jobs, subtly trying [...]
I was fortunate in college to have not one, not, two, not even close to three, but maybe 12-14 classmates who provided me with some form of mentoring. I never shared a strict mentor-mentee relationship with those 12-14 individuals. On the contrary, they were some of my closest friends, many of them 2 years ahead of me when I first began college. They were my go-to source for insider information regarding those amazing professors and their special classes that I had-to-take before graduation. We shared laughs, weekend adventures to Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in San Diego, and amazing conversations over delicious food. But the best part about these incredible individuals was their ability to help me transcend and learn from moments of failure. During my first year at Occidental, I applied to be a director of the Charles R. Blyth Fund. Unlike other schools with investment clubs on campus, the Blyth [...]
Jobs are in short supply right now, especially for newly minted college grads. Is it worth going to college if there is little guarantee of a job? Recently, Business Week published an article entitled The Lost Generation that has generated a lot of conversation around the grim job prospects for recent college grads. And NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook dedicated its Monday episode to talking with ’09 grads about their problems finding jobs. Reading and listening to the comments on both the Business Week article and the NPR episode offers a bizarre blend of commiseration by fellow job seekers, recommendations that grads try different means of employment or work harder to get a job, as well as wider indictments of social and economic situations. Students are frustrated, and rightfully so.
Internships can be some of the hardest and most challenging things that you can do while you are a college student. They are also the most important. Look at any listing for a non-retail job (i.e. real job) and what do you see? Months or years of experience required. So, how can you get experience if no one will hire you in the first place? Well, they will hire you, but they just won’t pay you. They call this arrangement “internship,” or “slave labor,” or, “indentured servitude. Okay, they will call it the former; you will call it the latter two. But, if you want to increase your chances of getting a career in your desired field, I strongly recommend that you pursue an internship opportunity. The best place to start is to talk to your major department’s advisor. These people want to help you, and they are paid to [...]
10 reasons to get an on-campus job