Yet another blog from Caitlin, our Western Kentucky University Intern Queen Campus Ambassador. Do you go to WKU? Wanna blog for us? Comment here and Caitlin will be in touch :)
As I turn the corner to my quickly approaching senior year there are 5 bits of advice that I feel have helped me and will (hopefully-fingers crossed) propel me to that first lucrative “big-girl real world” job next May.
1. Internships. I have to believe that if you are exploring the InternQueen site you know and understand the value of an internship. If you are new or if you need reconfirmation here it is. All the job shadows, coffee dates, and talks I’ve had have all affirmed the same thing, and that is that what employers look for most is applicable experience. Translation, Internships = real world experience, and experience = good!
2. One of the biggest things I learned in college is the value of networking. It is not an option, but a priority. Each person you meet while in college knows someone you should know. Be a classmate that makes an announcement about an internship, a professor who speaks about a guest speaker, or the person you sit next to on your flight home from spring break, they know someone or something that could give you an edge. Even if they are not in your specific market take time to get to know their career path. Ask where they’ve been, how they got where they are and don’t forget to ask for their business card!
3. Establish a relationship with your professor! This is one of the easiest things you can do that can really help you. Your professors know your work and soon enough you’ll be looking for references. To insure that they can speak on more than just your in class work stop by their office from time to time, drop some summer emails updating them on how your internship is going, and make sure you say thank you when in is needed. Hand written notes never go unnoticed or out of style. Even if you think their contacts are outdated and don’t correlate with the industry you want to break into remember they probably know students who are in the city you are looking to move to.
4. Work on your resume. Frequently. As I have progressed through college I’ve realized that you never know when having a current resume will prove invaluable. Your professor might have someone they want to pass it along to, you might fine an internship with a deadline dated tomorrow, or even worse you might forget as time goes on all the awesome things you’ve accomplished. Keep your resume up-to-date and make sure you utilize those awesome professors as a checkpoint to make sure you’re not missing anything.
5. Job Shadows. This has been and is my favorite part of school thus far. Often I think students in the PR/Marketing industry forget that just like aspiring doctors we too can ask companies we are interested in to spend a day shadowing entry-level professionals. This is a perfect opportunity to research companies you are interested in applying to (for internships or entry-level jobs), get feedback on your resume, network with young professionals and ask all the questions you really care about. Best way to get leads on job shadows? You guessed it – ask your professors! They can set you up with some pretty legit alumni!