March 18, 2014

Collegiate Perspective: Set Sail for Summer Success

With spring break winding down, it seems as if everyone is already making plans for the next big vacation . . .summer. As students, it feels as if we are always busy and on the go. Although it is important to squeeze in “me time,” it never hurts to consider your next big move professionally.

As a junior at Marquette I have the unique privilege to have four internships during my time studying in Milwaukee. While balancing classes, Alpha Phi commitments and work isn’t an easy task, I always look forward to the summer so that I am able to devote my time to pursue my professional career with passion. Summer is the perfect opportunity to branch out and explore a variety of avenues within your major and apply the many skills you learned in the classroom through a more active role. Summer internships allow you to be engrossed within a company and help foster professional connections that can extend beyond your time of employment.

Summer deadlines are approaching quickly, but here are a few tips and resources to assist you in your search and make you stand out from the many other applicants.

 
 

When looking. . .

Have a clear idea of what you are looking to gain from an internship position. Employers are in need of filling a position, but your personal pursuits should be priority. Don’t just apply for an internship position because you think it will be a cool opportunity. Be deliberate and intentional in your search. Apply for internships that will enable you to grow and develop through first-hand experience rather than errand running and busy work.
 
Tap into your connections to help gain an insider perspective and network. LinkedIn, is a great way for you to tap into your connections and leverage people within your network. As an Alpha Phi, we have access to the official Alpha Phi LinkedIn Group. By being engaged within the group on a consistent basis, you are able to digitally network and showcase your enthusiasm for your respected field.

When applying. . .

Brand yourself. Always be consistent with how you market yourself to an employer. This can be achieved in a variety of ways including: creating a website, customizing your resume, and organizing visual standards for other needs (portfolio, business cards, cover letter headings, etc.)

Always tell yourself. . .YES! As women, we tend to be a bit more self-critical; don’t let application season be another instance of this. Feel and be confident when applying and interviewing for a position. Employers will take note and feel more comfortable with someone who believes they can handle a job’s responsibilities and more.

Take time to clean up social media. Social media is incredibly important and is often a way for employees in human resource to scout an applicant after they have applied. Take time to comb through and groom your digital presence. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in communications or elsewhere, it is always important to make sure you are presenting yourself at your very best. . .and Alpha Phi.

You snagged an interview. . .now what?

Do your homework. Always go into an interview prepared with facts regarding a company’s background. It is important to show an employer that you are serious about this position and becoming a contributing member of their team. By showing that you have an understanding of the company’s business practices and clients you demonstrate your enthusiasm and eagerness to work with them.

Market yourself. An interview is a chance to physically represent the information detailed in your resume and elaborate your skill set mentioned in your cover letter. Don’t throw yourself at an employer and come off as a desperate and distraught college student. It is important to strategically present both your strengths and weaknesses upfront and show how you are able to overcome adversity. Don’t be afraid to name drop either.

After the interview. . .

Always follow up. Following an interview always send an email within one week after it took place. It is important to present yourself again before an employer and it serves as a friendly reminder that you are very interested in the position.

Snail mail says more. In this day in age, almost all correspondences are conversed digitally. Take time to invest in nice stationary and spend time writing a thank you note by hand. Employers will appreciate the sentiment and take your courteous mannerisms to heart. Regardless of how you might think an interview went, this traditional business practice will help you stand out from many of your competitors.

 
Check out these websites and resources to get a jump start
on the application process:



Lauren Holman is a collegiate member at Marquette (Eta Mu). Learn more about Lauren by clicking here.

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