April 19, 2016

Employers say: Overlook internships if you dare

It’s three weeks until graduation. You’ve prepared your resume, written a beautifully worded cover letter and kept your GPA pure gold. How are you going to get the job?

If you’re missing at least one internship on your resume, you may seriously struggle with your job search.

A recent survey by Internships.com says that 69 percent of companies offered full-time jobs to their interns and 66 percent believe relevant work experience is a more significant factor in hiring than academic performance.

Internships not only improve employment opportunities but help to ensure your career path is indeed the right one.

Sara Cifani, a 2015 Cleveland State University graduate and current editorial intern at Organic Spa Magazine, said her internship experiences were the most valuable part of her education.

“An internship adds the experience that even entry-level positions are looking for in you,” Cifani said. “They also point you in the right direction. Because of my internships, I feel inspired and confident in the career path that I’ve chosen.”

Amanda Oswald, a 2015 Kent State University graduate and account manager at Yelp’s Chicago headquarters, said she would not be where she is today without internships.

“So many times I was asked in interviews about where I’ve interned and what my responsibilities were over where I went to school or what I studied,” Oswald said.

“What you experience in a job or internship is so much more than what you read in a book or a worksheet you turn in,” she continued. “It shows that you can complete projects and work on a team for more than just a grade.”

Robert Gatewood, a graphic designer for IdeaStream Consumer Products, said that when hiring employees, he looks for experience over school projects.

“Internships are the fastest way to be able to prove you have experience and fit in a team-oriented environment,” Gatewood said. “Seeing internships on a resume proves a willingness to step out and get better beyond obligatory classwork.”

The Career Services Center helps students seeking internships. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and resume review times are Thursdays from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.


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