Lifeguarding this summer will be great for your tan. For a career, maybe not so much.
As we head into a rough job market, summer internships may be the best thing that a college student can do for their futures. Especially when many employers today use their own internship programs as their primary entry level recruiting tools. In fact, more than one out of every three new hires from the college graduating class of 2007 started with the same company as an intern, according to a March 28 survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Are you gearing up to land the perfect internship this summer? To help you out, MainStreet talked to Peter Vogt, a personal career coach with College to Career, which helps college students identify their skills and talents, as well as Randall Hansen, the founder of Quintessential Careers, which provides career and job advice. Here is their distilled wisdom for internship seekers:
1. Talk with your teachers. Some organizations that are looking to hire interns go directly to professors or college advisors because they assume they will already know which of their students are best equipped for the job.
2. Use your school. Most colleges and universities have a career services department that can help students trying to find an internship. In addition to providing students with advisors and counselors, these career centers often hold job fairs with employers who are looking for full time employees and interns.
3. Network with friends. Talk to friends at school to find out what types of positions their parents' companies may have. You roommate's mother could be the vice president of communications for American Express (AXP) and you may never know unless you ask. Fellow students may also have contacts from past internships.