Post by Jimmy Schiemann
From August to May, with a little break in December and another fun break around March (famously known as Spring Break) for most students this is called the academic year. Between May and July, however, things are different across the student body.
For some, this means graduation and the beginning of the jobs hunt (unless they were already hired prior to graduation). For another group, this means the beginning of summer vacation, no books, classes or schedules for good three months.
For others, trying to win some time towards their graduation, invest this time in summer school.
Another group, to which I would like to include myself, is the group of us NC State students that want to gain some professional experience during our ‘in between’ months of May, June and July. I am referring to the “I word”…Internships!
Internships are a great opportunity, especially for college students. Not only do all sorts of companies, laboratories or other businesses offer very good internships and experiences for current college students, it is also the best way to start gaining some pre-professional experience and still be able to remain a full time student.For all those uncertain still about what their vocation or career should be, internships offer you a great ‘show case’ in what your interest-profession is like. Maybe what you thought would be a very boring career area results in a highly interesting field. Consider it a great opportunity to really discover what you want to become after graduation!
Summer internships-even though still far ahead- are actually at their application process as I type this. For some programs the deadline already passed! So do not expect to begin applying in late April for an internship that starts in May, unless you mean May of next year…
Question of many: Where do I look for internships? Do I need to go business to business asking for their internship programs?
A reasonable question, with a simple answer: go online!
Most companies or institutions on their official websites will have a link to their ‘career’ department. Some call it ‘Employment’, ‘Work with us’, ‘Career Opportunities’ or some more “avant-garde” refer to it as ‘you @(company name)’. No matter what the nameis, it is the best way to find out about their internship opportunities, as most companies will have a section dedicated to their College recruitment or student internships programs and opportunities.
Now, finding an internship program is very simple, the problem is WHERE do I look for it? Should I look at big companies represented on all continents? Should I look at small local businesses? Should I look at government institutions or the private sector? Am I looking for something in the Raleigh area or am I ready to relocate for the summer to New Hampshire?
Some of us instinctively will go straight and research for internships at companies that we know already, companies whose products we consume. Or we look into government institution, local and federal, depending on our interest. Nevertheless, there is a great help, a great leading assistance for us lost and confused internship seekers at North Carolina State University: The Career Fair.
Different Colleges at NC State offer us students a showcase, an open house on the different companies, businesses or programs dedicated to us young students, especially regarding the internship issue. There you can discover programs that you never knew existed and maybe can be a great opportunity for you as a student in that particular area of interest.Career fairs can give you a hint on what companies refer to North Carolina State University students for their internship programs, and believe me, there are always many companies at our career fairs.
Whether you are an engineering, textiles, business or political science major, there are internship opportunities to discover, and who knows, maybe from this unexpected internship results in your future career choice after graduation.
I passed by the Poole College of Management this morning and saw their poster for their upcoming Spring career fair (There are usually career fairs in Spring and Fall, to which the companies attending might differ considering the focus and time of the internship). Most summer internship programs however, should be present at both career fairs.
It is never too EARLY to begin inquiring about internships, even if you are not a student yet, begin informing yourself about the different companies and opportunities offered for NC State students can do nothing but help you in your future academic direction.
Here are some links for you to keep in mind and to give you an idea of how this whole ‘internship-deal” is like.
Poole College of Management Career Fair: http://poole.ncsu.edu/index-exp.php/news/article/spring-career-and-internship-fair/
Engineering Career Fair: http://students.engr.ncsu.edu/careerfair/
Career Fairs in general for different departments: http://www.ncsu.edu/career/events/fairs.php