Own the internship process

March 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in alumni, career center, networking | Leave a comment
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by Beverly T. Lorig

Q: Which student gets the great internship in this competitive market?  

Choose one — The student with:

    A) Highest GPA
    B) Study Abroad
    C) Family connections
    D) Technical Major
    E) Determined Persistence

A: Without a doubt, it is E) Determined Persistence. Couple that with a well prepared resume/cover letter/application and it’s sure success. 

I spoke with a CEO this past week, and she emphasized that the student “must own the process”  with a determined and well-organized internship plan-of-action.  Many students turn their internship search over to the multiple mega job boards.  After submitting the tens or hundreds of resumes, the student believes he/she is done.  Next step?  Sit and wait.  And wait and wait.

So, in this day of keen competition and limited opportunities, challenge your students to get active. Define the prospect pool.  Develop a list of connections and networks that enhance the application. Write and telephone and meet with the contacts with the goal of gaining knowledge and advice.  Write an informed cover letter and resume focused on outcomes.  Follow-up with the internship coordinator and ask for an interview.

Bottom line:  Own the Process. 

Consider your own business or career center.  I don’t know about you but I find the very best candidates are the ones who are HUNGRY to work with me in the Washington and Lee Career Services program.  In my book, the candidate who actively pursues the position ultimately wins!

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