Small Town Blues?

This blog is written by Jenna our Campus Ambassador from California State University, Chico. If you go to Chico and want to blog for us, comment on this blog!

Looking for an internship in a small college town? No problem.

Driving home from school for the summer, I pass through farming landscapes and work my way south to the land of big cities and eight bridges - the San Francisco bay area.

I attend California State University, Chico, located in a small college town three hours north of the bay area. The internship possibilities throughout the bay area are endless but looking for an internship in a town like Chico can be much more difficult if you aren’t looking in the right places. I used to think I would only be able to intern during my summers in the bay area but this just isn’t the case. Internship opportunities do exist in small towns and may even fit your needs better than one in a big city.

The career center is your friend. I can’t stress it enough that the career center is one place that you should be hanging out in. One of their goals is to hook you up with an internship so take the help offered. There are also many more resources available to you when you start your search through the career center.

Ask around. More often than not, large internship search engine websites don’t cover enough ground to reach small towns and small businesses looking for interns. In landing an internship at a smaller company, you may end up gaining more experience and doing more ‘real work’ than you would at a huge company with fifteen interns. In college, everybody knows somebody and that somebody could be just who you need to get in touch with to find an internship position. College is such a great place to network – take advantage.

On campus internships couldn’t be easier. If you think about how many organizations your university has, it makes perfect sense that these organizations will need interns just as much as an outside company. At my school, our newspaper takes on sales interns and our events organization offers marketing and public relations internships. Living in a college town, the university can be seen as a hub for everyone there. When you look at it this way, of course the university is going to be brimming with internship opportunities. These types of jobs are a great way to get involved and gain experience - both of which are necessary.

Get involved. If a club doesn’t necessarily have internship positions, it still makes sense to join campus organizations and clubs. This could be the experience and involvement that you need to make your resume one step ahead of the rest. More often than not, clubs have positions such as publicity director or treasurer, which are sometimes just as valuable as an internship.

Go virtual. If all else fails, virtual internships are on the rise. Intern Queen adds more everyday and companies are turning to this type of internship more than ever. This is where larger internship search engines will come in handy because without location holding you back, you’ll be available for many more opportunities.

Before you pack your bags and head across the country for an internship, take a minute to look around in your small college town. You may be surprised with what you find.