This week’s Maroon, both online and on paper, includes commentary about internships. My hat is off to the staff for starting the conversation.
Alas, a college diploma alone, however much you spend to get one, won’t land you a job. The right skills will, and one way to gain those skills – beyond the limited time you have in the classroom – is through internships.
Jessica Williams made the point in “Internships better than extra-curricular activities,” that campus clubs will only get you so far. “Your employer is going to hire you based off of what you know how to do. It’s that simple.”
As the internship coordinator for the SMC, I spend a great deal of time talking to students about the value of internships. No one really argues against them, but many students have reasons they “can’t” get an internship. Jobs, class schedules and transportation are obstacles in the path.
However, many internships can be completed right here on campus, at a nearby location accessible by streetcar or even conducted from the comfort of your living room, as virtual internships are gaining popularity. So there’s no real obstacle that can’t be surmounted.
While the calendar may say it’s only February, quite a few deadlines have passed for summer internships. Several students in CMMN A497, the SMC’s internship course, have already secured theirs. It’s not too late to look for one that will give you that edge in the job market. The SMC internship newsletter, posted online, lists dozens of opportunities over the course of each semester in all areas of communication and media.
Not sure how to justify that unpaid summer internship to the folks? Here are a few arguments that might help win them over:
• Some internships pay.
• An internship adds to your professional foundation, covering information and developing skills that can’t be squeezed into the 45-60 contact hours of any class in a regular semester.
• An internship helps you build your résumé. Paid or not, it’s professional experience, which helps you get the next internship or your first job.
• An internship feeds your portfolio. Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., says portfolios are catching on in today’s job market, but media professionals have always known the value of a portfolio. Clips and samples of creative work make you a more attractive job candidate.
To steal a quote from “How To Create An Awesome Work Portfolio,” your portfolio will “turn your interview into an opportunity to show them where you excel and exactly what they can expect if they hire you.” (Tuesday, April 26 is SMC Spring Portfolio Review. Watch for details!)
Still considering a mass comm internship for this semester? Pick up or download the latest copy of the newsletter or drop by for a chat (Communications/Music 310). It’s not too late to get a head start on your career.