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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Searching for success

Internships
Photo by Graphic by Nic Tan
Internships

Finding the right internship is dependent on a variety of factors for each student according to Michael Shehane, an Assistant Director of General Academics and University Studies and Class of 2002. He suggests using a variety of tools to begin narrowing down and eventually finding an internship based on their qualifications.
According to a LinkedIn article, the most popular time to apply for internships is March, but early preparations can help students find a job that best fits their talents.
Interning is not the only way to gain experience
Although some majors require an internship to graduate, applying to a co-op, externship or part-time job can also be useful, according to Shehane. There are differences in each, but all will allow you to work at a company or organization and gain hands on experiences in a selected field.
“I would say that overall, if I’m painting a really broad stroke, internships have the potential to be helpful when helping you move forward in your career,” Shehane said. “What we know is that when an employer is looking to hire students, they like students to have a complement of both their education and their experience.”
The Career Center is a valuable resource
Hire Aggies is an online system through the Texas A&M Career Center and available to current and former students looking for any level of work, whether it be an internship or a full-time job. The system recognizes the user’s qualifications based on their resume, and can filter each opportunity based on interests, locations, education levels and more.
Employers post opportunities to the site and provide the system with the information to narrow down the type of potential intern or employee they need. These companies and organizations can be in state, out of state or international.
Resumes are necessary, but qualifications vary by internship
The Career Center can also help students edit their resumes for their best use. Even if students choose to not use Hire Aggies, their resume is an important and usually necessary component of an application. There are major differences in freshman and senior resumes, according to Shehane.
“A second semester freshman at this point has probably had the opportunity to join a student organization, but just because of timing, they may not have moved up to a [vice president] level or a president level yet,” Shehane said. “So they can list things on their resume from college, but I would highly, highly encourage a freshman to include their high school stuff on their resume.”
In general, the more relevant experiences the student has to put on their resume, the easier it will be for the student, Shehane said.
If you can’t afford to work for an unpaid internship, there are options
Paid internships and co-ops are ideal for students who could benefit from payment as well as experience in the field, according to Shehane. While unpaid internships offer valuable lessons, Shehane also suggests working a part-time job in a field of interest, job shadowing or actively participating or holding office in an organization on campus.
“In a perfect world, you’d be getting paid,” Shehane said. “But if that is not an available option for a student, there are other ways to gather experiences. If a student does not have the opportunity to do an unpaid internship I don’t want that student to panic. What I want that student to do is come and see me so we can talk through all the wonderful ways they can get experiences that are still relevant to their end goals.”
Professional attire is a necessity
Interviews can become costly with the prices of professional clothes and traveling to the interview adding up. Derek Yenzer, industrial engineering senior and the director of development for the Career Closet, said students can set up an appointment online to come to the Career Closet and rent an outfit of their approximate size for career fairs, internships, and more.
“For the most part, professional dress… it’s just kind of a generally accepted way to dress for interviews,” Yenzer said. “On top of just a generally accepted way of doing things, it generally gives off a more accepted way of doing things, it also helps give off more of a professional look, it shows that your dressed up for the interview, you are interested in the job they are offering.”
The career center has department advisors and is walk-in friendly for students to have their resumes reviewed and being their search for internships or job opportunities.

 

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