Students need to look for internships as soon as possible, career counselors at CSU say.
“They need to start early and find out what’s out there,” said Brett Beal, assistant director for employer relations at the CSU Career Center. “Often, it’s going to take at least a few months.”
Beal said finding an internship can be more of a long-term process than most students realize.
“It’s actually a process, not a simple event,” she said. “It’s not just finding the opportunity, but presenting yourself well after you get it.”
Beal encourages students to try and an internship even if their major does not require one because it is important for students to get a taste of what they will actually be doing when they graduate. She said she has seen many students finish an internship and promptly change majors because they found out they did not actually want to spend the rest of their lives in that field.
It is also essential, Beal said, for students to stay open-minded when looking for internship opportunities.
“If you don’t know there’s 37 flavors, you’ll choose vanilla because that’s all you know,” Beal said. “There’s a lot out there.”
Many internships can also turn into full-time job opportunities once students graduate, Beal said.
Students are often concerned about the monetary aspect of an internship – whether it will be paid or unpaid. Beal said it depends on students’ chosen field of study whether paid internships will be available.
The Career Center at CSU is always available to help students secure an internship. Its main job is to help students understand the different options available to them, Beal said.
“We help them get different perspectives,” said JoAnn Cornell, career liaison in the college of liberal arts. “Then we try and make the connection for students.”
The career center also has a website at http://career.colostate.edu that searches internships for interested students.
Another website with an extensive internship search engine is www.wetfeet.com.
“It’s the largest internship community on the Internet, offering internship seekers free access to the largest internship database in print or on the Web,” said Gary Alpert, CEO of Wetfeet Inc.
Kristin DeLalla, junior mechanical engineering major, has been looking into internships since she was a sophomore.
“It’s a good way to kind of start my career ahead of time,” she said. “It looks good on a resume, too.”
She also wanted to make sure she picked the right major.
“I want to use my degree so I can figure out if I’m getting the right degree,” DeLalla said. “The experience and stuff you can get is really good.”