Does the idea of getting an internship scare you to death? Are you avoiding the process of finding an internship because you don’t know where to start? You are not alone! Many students are very anxious about going through the internship process.
However, internships can be an exciting experience as a step toward transitioning to the professional world. As a peer advisor and a student myself, I have learned a few things along the way. This semester, I am completing the required internship for my degree. Although I am a health science major, I’ve found that many of the same internship search strategies apply to all students. Based on my experience, here are some of my tips:
- First and foremost, start early! I cannot stress this enough. If you are really worried about securing an internship, start a full semester before the internship should begin. You’ll have more companies to choose from, and it will also give you more time to interview and find the best internship fit. This is especially important for students wanting to work in competitive industries, where you will probably need to go to multiple interviews. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with the on-campus job search engine, Titan Connection.
- Utilize all of your personal connections. These connections don’t need to be people who work in your desired field. If you just start telling people you know that you’re looking for an internship, you may find that word-of-mouth could result in a referral or a tip. This is a great way to get into an internship that you would not find in an online search. In my case, I landed my internship because my sister’s mother-in-law knew someone who told me about the opportunity.
- Be sure that your good ol’ resume is polished. If you are interested in a competitive industry, you are going to want to send out many resumes. Also, having it in prepared in advance will ensure that you have it on hand when you need it. You will want to bring copies of your resume if you attend this spring’s on-campus internship fairs. The Career Center is sponsoring the “Internship and Career Expo” on Thursday, April 5, as well as the “Communications Internship Fair” on Wednesday, April 25 (during Comm Week). If you need help, visit the Career Center for resume writing assistance.
- Prior to an internship interview, make sure to do your research. You hear this over and over for job interviews; however, the same goes for an internship. Remember that companies may hire interns as full-time employees. Knowing your stuff about the company will just put you one step ahead. Don’t go around reciting their “mission statement” or anything, but be prepared to sound knowledgeable if called upon.
- Finally, be professional during the internship interview. This should go without saying, but surprisingly, some students don’t realize that wearing Vans and board shorts is usually not the best choice of interview attire (unless, maybe, you’re interviewing at Vans). Companies prize professionalism and will notice applicants who put their best foot forward. Don’t lose a great internship opportunity because of not presenting yourself in the best light!
I hope this gave you a little more confidence to get out there and snatch up an internship. For many students, it is necessary not only for graduation, but also for your success after college. We all know how challenging it is to get a job out there right now, so make the best of your college experience. Don’t be afraid of the internship! Take this requirement and run with it.
Are you a new transfer student and a little bit lost? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. Transferring from the community college system can be very complicated and students often feel like they’re drowning in information. As a peer advisor in the College of Communications Advisement Center and a transfer student myself, I have come up with a list of the most common misunderstandings that many transfer students have.
- “I thought I was done with GE?” The absolute most common thing I come across is that transfer students don’t know they need to take 9 units of upper division GE at CSUF. If students don’t seek advisement, they may not find this out for their first couple of semesters at CSUF. The good news is that for COMM and RTVF majors, the required collateral courses may be able to double count for upper division GE courses! Consult an advisor for more information.
- “What is a TDA?” As a new transfer student, your Titan Degree Audit (TDA) will be a preliminary evaluation of your transfer coursework. The TDA is the compilation of all units completed, in progress, and requirements needed for graduation. It includes a section for your General Education requirements as well as your major requirements. Students should check their TDAs at least once every semester to make sure they are on track. TDAs are absolutely necessary when seeking advisement as well! If you are having trouble understanding your TDA, make sure to seek clarification. Here is a Flash-based tutorial that explains how to access your TDA.
- “Not all of my classes are showing up on my TDA!” Make sure to send your most recent community college transcripts as soon as possible after completion of all transfer classes. It may take some time for admissions to process your transcripts. The sooner you send them in, the sooner your TDA will be updated. On the front of your TDA, you will see the “Final Evaluation Status” message change to “Complete” when the Admissions and Records office finalizes the final evaluation of your records. Transcripts may also affect registration for classes, so don’t forget about sending them in!
- “Who do I talk to?!” Finally, there are at least two different places for students to receive undergraduate advisement for their degrees. The Academic Advisement Center in UH-123 provides advising for General Education and undergraduate policies. For major advising in the College of Communications, full-time faculty can provide advisement, as well as the College of Communications Advisement Center in CP 425.
Hopefully, you are now feeling a little more at ease! As a transfer student, I know I had some of these questions. My last piece of advice is to never shy away from asking questions. It’s not fun to ask questions when everyone else seems to know what’s going on. However, part of the college experience is learning how to navigate the system. Keep asking questions until you feel comfortable with where you’re going. I hope this helps!