While summer is a great time for relaxing and taking a break from school, it can also be the perfect opportunity to gain experience that could be crucial to your career. Maggie Morrissey, an NSU career advisor for Experiential Education and Learning, explained that “[summer internships are] important because — until you get hands-on experience in your career field and see what a day in the life in that profession is — you really don’t know if it’s for you or if you’re on the right path.”
Getting experience in a potential field can help set individuals apart from other applicants for job opportunities and graduate schools, as well as help them to gain references and make connections that can be beneficial to their future. Summer internships also help confirm your passion for the field, or may make you realize that field isn’t for you.
“Sometimes, it seems really simple, but you may be gaining that confirmation or realizing that [that field is] not for you… It’s one of the most important things in doing an internship. If you do an internship and realize ‘oh wow, I need to change directions’ — that’s extremely important to find that out now versus when you’re already in a graduate program or when you’re already in a full time position,” said Morrissey.
There are endless opportunities to be gained from the experience. Follow a few of the steps below to secure your spot for a summer internship.
Know your field
What field you’re looking to go into can greatly impact how and when you have to search for internships for the summer. For example, some experiences for prospective healthcare practitioners may be labelled as shadowing, research or programs rather than “internships.” Additionally, the field determines the timeline in which applicants are considered as well. According to Morrissey, some finance and accounting recruiting is already being wrapped up for summer 2020. Make sure you know how far in advance your industry fills positions so you don’t miss any important deadlines.
Visit your career advisor
NSU’s career advisors can be great resources for students while they are on their summer internship search. Morrissey recommends that students either meet with their individual advisor or attend a drop-in appointment to look over their resume and cover letters. Since a resume is one of the most important ways to market yourself, making sure it’s up to date and polished is crucial.
Check out online resources
Websites and networking resources such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake and even Google can help you filter through potential opportunities and find something that could be right for you. The Office of Career Development directly works with employers on Handshake for recruiting, and students can submit their resumes to be considered for inclusion in one of NSU’s resume books on the website as well.
For more information on NSU’s Office of Career Development, visit nova.edu/career.
Photo: M. Thian