Students learn the ins and outs of internships

by Deirdre Murray / Beacon Correspondent • October 9, 2013

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Career Services will sponsor internship events throughout the semester.
Career Services will sponsor internship events throughout the semester.

The task of applying for internships can be confusing, lengthy, and at worst, daunting. Emerson’s Career Services wanted to help fix this problem by hosting Internship GPS, an informational program aimed at giving sophomores the tools they need to complete the internship process.

The two-hour-long event began at 2 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room on Oct. 4. According to Carol Spector, director of career services, the program was meant to assist students who are just beginning to learn about internships. Career Services sponsored Internship GPS for the first time last year as an initiative for sophomores, said Spector. 

“There’s always kind of an emphasis on freshmen getting settled and for seniors when they’re leaving, but not enough emphasis for sophomores,” said Spector. “We also feel that for sophomores, the big issue is getting an internship or how to get an internship.”

The event was split into five different sections including Starting Your Internship Search, Internship Directions, Navigating eHire, The Employers Radar, and Rev Up Your Resume. Each workshop focused on an aspect of the internship process. From finding out what type of internship to look for to learning how to navigate Emerson’s online employment database, eHire, the event covered all the bases of internship necessities.

The rotating schedule allowed students to pick and choose which workshops they wanted to attend based on their own needs. Workshops were held at 15 minute increments, allowing students to attend individual events without staying for the whole two hours. Students could attend up to four out of the five workshops if they chose to.

Career Services hosts similar events for students to access internship opportunities. On Oct. 23, they will host the Internship Fair, a bi-annual event that gives students the ability to meet representatives from major companies face to face, according to Spector. Throughout Internship GPS, staff stressed that students looking for internships for next spring and summer season are encouraged to visit the Internship Fair.

With about seven to nine students visiting each workshop, the attendance didn’t increase much from last year’s 35 students. However, those who attended said they found the information given to be extremely helpful.

Mary Krantz, a sophomore performing arts major, said she plans to use the material she learned at the workshop while looking for internships in the future. She said she is focused on working with the online tools suggested.

“I hear about all these things like eHire and these internships that students do, and I just don’t know what the next step is,” said Krantz. “This was very helpful because they showed me how to get there and what the resources do.”

Although it was meant for sophomores, a variety of undergraduate and graduate students attended and found the event to be beneficial. Wenjie Song, a marketing communication major, said she went even though she is a graduate student.

“I want to get an internship during my study here,” she said. “I think it will help me learn more about the industry in America so I can know the difference between the American industry and that of China.”

She also said the event helped clarify what she needs to compete in a competitive application pool. A workshop she found especially helpful was The Employers Radar, which gave her the company’s perspective on the interview process.

Caroline Cassard, a sophomore writing, literature, and publishing major, said she attended despite having a prior internship at Girls’ Life magazine. While she already has this experience on her resume, she said she feels she still has a lot to learn when it comes to finding internships that are paid or credited.

“I thought that coming to this internship fair would help me know what to look for in an internship with more guidance and what to get out of my next internship,” said Cassard.

Aaron Griffin, a junior writing, literature, and publishing major, said his biggest fear was finding an internship that wouldn’t give him actual work experience. Aspiring to work for a publishing company like Penguin, he wants an internship that will give him an active role. He said he’d like to showcase the skills he’s learned, not just do busy work.

“I’d like to just get a foot in the door,” he said. “I don’t want to just get coffee. I want to really see what they’re doing and help them.”