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Secure Your Ideal Job With An Internship

February 11, 2012

Throughout my career in Human Resources, I’ve had the great pleasure to participate in many career fairs at various colleges and universities across the US.  Each year a new crop of students graduate with the hopes of entering the job market and landing their dream job. With today’s high unemployment rate, competition for employment is fiercer than ever before.  What can students do differently to better prepare for the working world?

In 2011, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted extensive research on the value that interns give a company.  Their findings show that more companies than ever are hiring entry-level employees from their intern pool.  This practice is quite common for companies to hire interns with the intent of converting them to regular full-time hires upon graduation if they demonstrate and show potential.

So how does this happen?  How can you get started early rather than waiting until graduation to start your job search.  As college students, you have an immense number of resources at your fingertips.  Here are 3 insights to help you start thinking about how an internship today can turn into full-time job tomorrow:

Insight #1:  COMPANIES NEED INTERNS – The idea of hiring interns has become very appealing to companies even during a difficult economy.  The war for talent is real and hiring interns has become part of the company’s overall hiring strategy.  Companies routinely make strategic use of student internships to address various needs such as a low-cost way to recruit entry-level talent, build a future growth area or build a more diverse workforce.  Much of the preparation and determination of the needs for summer interns really starts during the Fall prior to the upcoming summer.  Companies often look at internships as a way to bring in new talent and assess their capabilities before extending them a full-time offer.  Some companies may have staffing metrics in place with the goal of converting a high percentage of their summer interns to full-time employees.  At times, companies may even extend employment offers to top students prior to graduating as a way to lock them in early.

Insight #2: REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE – An internship is a wonderful way to gain practical work experience and lay the foundation for your future.  It  gives students the opportunity to gain ‘hands-on’ working experience at a company in their chosen field.  This is also a chance to apply your classroom knowledge in a real workplace setting.  More importantly, the benefits of internships allows you to gain marketable skills, expand your professional network and gain insights about the company culture.  These experiences can be unique resume and skills builder which increases your employment opportunities.

Insight #3: THE HIDDEN RESOURCES – College students have an advantage other job seekers do not – “on-campus career center” staffed with knowledgeable professionals who have one purpose — to help students find jobs.  These staff members burn the midnight oil to provide a venue that attracts various companies to meet, interview and hire their top students.  Tap into the hidden resources and stop by your on-campus career center today.  Check the  calendar of events and see who’s recruiting students at your school.  Do your research and find out the types of positions they are interviewing for. Many career centers host regular workshops in addition to the employer hosted events on campus.   Schedule an appointment with a “friendly” career center counselor for more advice on your resume, to conduct a practice interview or even get guidance on your job hunt.  They are there for you and all you need to do is ask for help.

What insights do you have to share about the benefits of internships for college students?   We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments or suggestions.  Like us and join the conversation.

Good luck and happy job hunting!  Stay tuned for the next blog post with tips at career fairs.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 9:51 am

    Internships can provide a great opportunity for someone to get their foot in the door with a company. They also allow the intern to “test drive” the employer to be sure the organization is the right fit for him as well.

    One internship to consider is a virtual internship. It allows the intern to have more flexibility in that he or she can intern from the comfort of their own home or dorm.

    We released a White Paper on Virtual Internships that provides advice, recommendations and resources for potential virtual interns. You can download the White Paper here: http://www.internprofits.com/virtualinternshipwhitepaper/

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  1. 3 Ways To Outsmart Your Competition At Job Fairs « myJoblinx blog – Jobs and Career Advice from Recruiters

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