Adding Purpose To The Internship Search

It seems like the internship search season begins earlier and earlier every year. As companies realize the recruitment value of implementing internship programs and tapping into college talent, the process is becoming more competitive. That’s why students need to start their summer internship search early–depending on the industry, that can even mean searching and applying in the fall semester before the summer they plan to intern.

One way career educators are responding to these early and competitive recruitment cycles is to use fall workshops and coaching appointments to get the word out about applying for internships. But for students walking across a campus that’s starting to get that autumn nip in the air, summer can feel like a lifetime away–making it that much harder to drive home the importance of planning their internship search now.

How can you get students’ attention and set them on a path to drive positive internship outcomes?

How can you get students’ attention and set them on a path to drive positive #Internship outcomes? Find out in the blog from @Pathway_U:Click to Tweet

Give them a reason to listen.

Students are bombarded by requests for their attention. Student organizations, campus events, classwork, and on-campus jobs are all clamoring for space in their brains–and that’s just the college-related stuff. Add in personal relationships, finances, and worry about the future, and it’s no wonder today’s college students are overwhelmed and stressed

Luckily, you can offer something that can speak directly to one of their major stressors: How to banish their fear of the future through the power of internships. 

Most students attend college in the first place because they feel it’s the best way to achieve their professional goals. With a college degree, they hope to be able to design the career of their dreams. 

But college, though important, is no longer enough on its own to guarantee career success. According to one study, grade point average and the total number of internships completed as an undergraduate are the two major factors that increase the likelihood of a student being employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

Helping students approach the internship search process with purpose will ensure that they have the best outcome they can have. Learn how to guide #Students along the #InternshipSearch in the recent blog by @Pathway_U:Click to Tweet

Internships are the key to helping students of all abilities to graduate from college with the experiences and skillsets employers want. By first helping students understand that internships are the answer to their worries about future employment, you can open the door to further conversations about how they can score the internships they need. 

Make their internship search purposeful.

Once students understand that internships are a necessary part of college life, it’s important to help them plan for their internship experience in a purposeful way. 

It’s common for students to feel so overwhelmed by the internship search process that they cast too wide of a net–applying for anything that comes across their inbox, whether or not it closely correlates to their personal and professional goals. 

This is where the right tools and coaching–provided by the career center–can make all the difference. 

Whether you’re designing an internship search workshop or prepping for one-on-one student appointments, start by developing some exercises to help your students find their purpose. One easy way to do this is to use a tool like PathwayU. By having your students take the assessments in PathwayU, you’ll have something to begin the conversation about what they’re looking for in their careers. Have them look over their results and jot down the pieces that resonate the most with them. Are they highly artistic and looking to use that skill in the workplace? Do they value personal relationships at work? Do they want to find a workplace that thrives on collaboration? 

From there, the student should explore the careers section of PathwayU. Help them identify their top one or two career subject areas of interest, and explore some of the possible careers within them. This will help narrow down their internship search to a particular industry.

Begin the search.

Once your student has a solid understanding of what they’re looking for, both in terms of the industry and some aspects of the job itself, they can begin the search. PathwayU offers a convenient way for students to search for relevant jobs directly on the platform, but this is certainly not the only place they can or should look for internships. Point them to your career center’s online resources and job boards, help them connect to alumni mentors in their industries, and don’t forget to schedule an appointment to brush up on their application materials.

Internships are undoubtedly a valuable way for students to gain the experience employers are looking for–but students gain the most value from an internship when it closely matches their long-term goals. Helping students approach the internship search process with purpose will ensure they have the best outcome possible.

Find out more about what PathwayU can do to help you transform your student’s academic year ahead and get their internship journey started on the right foot by scheduling a demo today.

Jen Gose is an education industry thought leader. A former higher ed administrator with experience in career services and advising, she brings a unique “from the trenches” point of view when writing about many of the challenges our educators face today.

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