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Internships impact after-college career opportunities

College students hear it all the time: you need internships on your resume.

Chris Confer, director of career development, said that students should care about getting internships because it is great experience to put on a resume. It can also serve as a discernment process for students to determine if the job or company is somewhere that they would want to work after graduation.

Confer explained that it is also important for some companies in their hiring process.

“There are increasingly more and more companies that require someone right out of college to do an internship with them first before they will hire a student for a full-time job,” said Confer.

Confer added that internships can really help you determine what kind of job and or company you want to work at after you graduate. They can also help you learn new skills in a professional environment.

Confer urges students to look for internships at the companies that they wish to work for after graduation.

“There are also some great search engines starting with the JBU Job Board at www.jbu.edu/cdc as well as searching job through specific major related search engines,” Confer said.

Confer also recommends LinkedIn as another search option for internships, one that allows students the ability to network into various companies and organizations around the world to find opportunities through JBU alumni.

Confer said that if you are in business, engineering or visual arts student, it is a good idea to start looking in the fall before the summer that you wish to obtain an internship.

“Most of the competitive paid internships are offered in the fall for the following summer, and the second wave of hiring for the rest of the majors will take place from spring break until the end of the semester. However, there will be a few that will be secured before then,” said Confer.

Confer said that LinkedIn is a great place to start for any major.

“Students are encouraged to talk to their faculty members, community members, previous employers, places where they have volunteered in the past, church members, and friends,” said Confer.

Confer believes that Facebook and especially LinkedIn have become some great ways to network and use the University community to find some very unique opportunities.

“There is actually a group called John Brown University Alumni on LinkedIn where students can post on the discussion board the kinds of jobs or internships that they are searching for and the location,” said Confer.

http://www.jbu.edu/cdc/employers/internship_requirements/ gives a list of the majors that offer internships and the requirements for those internships.

“I don’t know which ones are technically required, because I think that all JBU students should be required to do some kind of an internship or research related experience during their time here at JBU,” said Confer.

Not all majors require internships, but many do and most encourage it.

Senior Andrea Good, an international business major, interned with Walmart at the Home Office in Bentonville this summer in the merchandising in the crafts/floral/fabric section.

As a merchant intern, she got to meet with suppliers to give her input on packaging, pricing, and product.

“Walmart gave me projects with a real impact on the business,” said Good.

Good needed a business internship in order to graduate, so she applied last year and got the position after a series of interviews.

“It was an amazing opportunity that gave me the best summer of my life,” said Good.

Good even got a job at the end of summer.

“Now is the best time for a student to get an internship,” said Good.

Sophomore Mallory Faye Douglas, a family and human services major, hasn’t had an internship yet.

“I think that they are a good thing, but don’t think that you have to have one to be good in your field,” said Douglas.

Douglas said that internships are supposed to teach people the ins and outs of how a company works, but feels that people can learn the same things with an actual job.

“An internship gives you a glimpse of what to expect, but still leaves the possibility to hate the job that you end up with,” said Douglas.

Good said that you learn just as much about yourself as you do the business and that it’s never too early to start looking for an internship.

“I absolutely recommend Walmart to anyone interested,” said Good.

Good believes that internships also look amazing on a resume and give you experiences to draw from in the future.

“I get to walk down the crafts aisle in Walmart and talk about how I was at the meeting where this was added to the store or how I helped pick that end cap,” said Good.

Good said that an internship is incredibly valuable for hands-on learners.