Spring Break is Here, Now What?

It is spring break for Western Carolina University students, but I decided to hang around campus for the week. Why in the world would I do this? To apply for summer internships and catch up on work that will be due after the break. This may sound insane, but I wanted to get ahead of the game.

If you do not have spring break plans, fill your break with other things to do that can help out with your future. Here are some suggestions I have:

  • Start applying for summer internships if you have not yet. After spring break is over summer is right around the corner. If you have decided to use spring break to apply to summer internships, stick to it! Yes, go have fun on your break as well, but pick specific days to focus on your resume, cover letter and creating a list of internships you would like to apply to. Then pick a day to actually send in applications.
  • Go do a job shadow! Shadow someone in the industry you would like to work in when you graduate. While some university programs require this, others may not. Take advantage of having down time and contact employers about spending a day shadowing them. If you are able to set up an appointment, make sure you are prepared. Create a list of questions to ask throughout the day about the particular job and take notes throughout the experience. Bring along business cards and copies of your resume. Shadowing offers you a chance to network with professionals.

  • Look for a spring break internship. I had never heard of these until today when I came across an article Heath Nettles shared earlier. You can read the article here. While it may be to late to apply for spring break internships right now, you can always plan to do one next year. This offers a chance to network, just like with job shadowing. It will also give you multiple days to see how a firm or company works and you will gain valuable experience.
  • Stay ahead of school work. With the end of the semester fast approaching it may become easy to put some assignments aside to work on after spring break. Personally, I have a ton of assignments due right after the break, so I am taking this week to stay ahead of my school work as well. It may not be very fun, but you will at least have more free time after break!

If you do not have spring break plans I hope these suggestions help! What are other suggestions you have?

The Search is On: Tips for Internship Hunting Success

Summer internship hunting is here for many college students, myself included. Here are three tips that help me stay focused and get applications in on time.

  1. Excel Spreadsheets. I seriously live by Excel spreadsheets. So when I started looking for internships it was no different. While looking for internships I keep an Excel spreadsheet open so I can get all of the information I need to know about the internship. Things I include are the title of the internship, location, dates for the internship, where to send my resume and cover letter, and a link to the website for the internship. I also include the date I applied for the internship. Trust me, keeping track of internship leads this way definitely helps!
  2. Resume and Cover Letter. Keep your resume updated! This will make it easier when you start to apply for internships. My suggestion is to keep your resume to one page and do something creative to make it stand out. It is also important to tailor your resume to fit the internship you are applying for. An easy way to keep track of all of your experience is by creating a LinkedIn account. It also allows you to elaborate on the experience you have and you can include this link on your resume. You can read more about my resume suggestions here. As far as your cover letter goes, write a different one for every internship you apply for! You need to cater your cover letter to fit the internship you are applying for, just like you do for your resume.
  3. Network! Network, network, network. Attend conferences, like Real World PR, for an opportunity to network with professionals at a career expo. These connections can be valuable and also give you an opportunity to pass out your resume to potential employers. This also allows you to network with fellow students, who can help you out by looking over your resume to offer your advice before you apply for internships.

These are three things I stick to before, during and after my internship hunt. What are tips you have when it comes to internship hunting?