Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding an Internship

As the weather cools down, the search for summer internships is heating up!  Many companies and organizations start recruiting summer interns as early as September.  And while finding an internship may seem impossible, there are many internships available.   The current economy has actually led to an increase in intern positions as it provides employers with an obligation-free way to give potential employees a trial run.  So start researching and applying for internship opportunities today!

Identify Career Interests
Take time to consider what type of internship you want and what experiences you hope to get out of an internship.  Internships are a great way to test out new career fields you might not have considered previously.  Even if you land an internship that does not match exactly with your interests, it can still provide you with great experience and even more of an idea of what you want out of a career.

Let family, friends, professors, academic advisors and alumni know what type of internship you are looking for.  You never know who will have a contact with a company you are interested in.  Also consider scheduling informational interviews to gain valuable information on career options and companies that you can pursue for an internship.

Go online
 There is a huge array of internship listings available online.  You can find intern positions by logging into your CES Account or visiting the internship listing section of the CES website for links to several internship websites.  Also try, which specializes in only internship listings. 

Contact Employers
If you are not finding the type of internship you are looking for online, contact a company or organization directly to ask if they have any internship openings.  Thoroughly research the company before calling to show your dedication and drive to be a part of the company.  Be prepared to explain why you want to work for a particular company and what skills you can offer the company.  Remember, the worst the company can do is say no.

So do not wait for the weather to warm up before starting your internship search!  Starting your search now will help you find an internship you are really passionate about and help you avoid the stress of trying to find an internship a month before summer.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preparing for a career fair

Life is not always a career fair…and thank goodness!  Career fairs can be stressful if you are not properly prepared.  In order to help simplify the career fair process, CES has a variety of tips and resources to help you prepare for the upcoming All-UniversityCareer Fair, September 20-21.

Bring your resume.
Bring 20-30 copies of your resume to share with attending employers.  Take advantage of Walk-in Wednesday, Resume Critiques and Midnight Resume Madness workshops to ensure your resume is employer ready.

Broaden your focus.
Consider visiting with a wide variety of employers at the career fair.  Employers that are not directly related to your field of study generally hire professionals in different fields.  For example, hospitals not only hire doctors and nurses, but management, accounting and technology professionals.  Review career fair materials for employers looking for candidates with your qualifications.

Research companies in advance.
Research the companies you want to visit with before attending the career fair and write down any questions you want to ask the attending representative.  Additionally, study the event map to determine your route in order to maximize your time while at the career fair.

Prepare an elevator speech.
Prepare a brief 30 second elevator speech to introduce yourself to employers.  Include your name, major and why you are interested in a certain field of study or an organization.  Show the employer how your background and knowledge relates to the needs of the company.  Make sure to practice your speech beforehand to ensure it sounds natural.

Dress professionally.
A career fair is basically a series of informal interviews, so make a strong first impression by dressing professionally.  Men should wear slacks or khakis with a dress shirt and tie.  Professional dress for women includes dress slacks or a skirt with a simple button-down shirt or blouse.  Students in need of professional attire can shop the CES Career Closet for gently used professional attire FREE of charge.

Properly preparing for a career fair will help you feel confident and focused when visiting with employers.

More information about preparing for a career fair can be found by attending the How to Succeed at a Career Fair workshop Thursday, September 15 at 4 p.m. in the K-State Student Union, Room 212.