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Students receive tips for finding internships

Advice includes appealing to potential employers, building resume

By Jacqueline Wattles
On April 11, 2012

  • Wendy Kopp, Director of Marketing at Panera Bread, holds up an agenda as she speaks to students about finding internships on Tuesday afternoon. Kopp stressed the need for applicants to personalize their resumes in order to stand out in a pool of candidates. RACHEL WEISS/The Daily Campus

The Department of Career Services has a message for procrastinators: it is not too late to find an internship.

Beth Settje, the Assistant Director of Internship Resources and Development of Career Services, said internships are important to develop professional skills and establish a network and, although most students panic as summer quickly approaches, opportunities are still available. She is advocating that the key to finding an internship late in the game is flexibility, networking and a well-written resume.

"When looking for where to apply, consider your strengths, values and interests, but be flexible. Internships are about experimenting, experience and learning. You never know where you'll be happy," Settje said.

To locate opportunities, Settje recommended search engines and company websites that list available positions with job descriptions and instructions for how to apply. Links to internship search engines can be found at internship.uconn.edu.

Wendy Kopp, the Director of Marketing at Panera Bread, has worked with Settje in the past to find students to fill internship positions and shared her own advice to students.

"Don't be afraid to be different," Kopp said. "So many people apply to the big-name places like Coca Cola or Nike, but if you look for an internship where there's less competition for a position, you may find your experience is more personalized and you'll receive more attention."

Settje said a clear, concise resume is crucial when applying and resumes should be kept to a single page and use bullet points to make it readable to an employer. Settje added that it is beneficial to specify a resume to the requirements of a position.

"Look at the specific requirements for a job listing, and personalize the resume to display your qualifications and ability to meet these requirements," Settje said.

Kopp added that when she reads resumes, she looks for volunteer work as well as work experience. She advised a resume should include any special contributions or projects done within a job.

"If you did something out of the box or creative at your job as a cashier, it turns a part-time job into something interesting," Kopp said. "Be creative and show that employer what you've done."

Steven Morrell, a 6th-semester sociology and psychology major, said he attended the event to get some insight into the process of applying and found the resume information particularly useful.

"I hadn't thought much about internships before this," Morrell said. "The resume writing part was valuable because I don't even have a resume right now."

Settje explained how students can get internships for course credit, solely for work experience or how some institutions even pay hourly wages.

In a 2011 survey of UConn students, 71.43 percent of students reported being paid for their internships, and on average, those students were paid an hourly rate of $16.49.

Career Services has open office hours that Settje recommended students utilize to have resumes edited, ask questions, and set up practice interview sessions. Students can contact Career Services at career.uconn.edu. 


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