By DANI LEACH
Going through college and maintaining a good grade point average, or GPA, is an important part of getting your college degree and paving the way to a new job. But, getting your foot in the door can be difficult. Internships can help you get experience and are good references for when you go job hunting.
There are so many opportunities to participate in an internship with a company, you just have to go out and find them. Consult your advisor, who will help you find the one that is right for you and that fits the best into your field of study.
Devan Paleschic, Communications major at Cumberland County College, is currently enrolled in a paid internship with Walt Disney World. She found out about internships through her advisor, Renee Post, who told her about past students who had participated in them and had been successful.
She feels that this internship will enable her to become more responsible and give her connections for when she is searching for a job in the future. She says that, “it shows future employers that I am reliable [and] I have experience”, giving her a higher chance of finding a secure job.
To complete her internship and earn the credits, Paleschic says, “I have to work 135 hours, I have to keep a journal, and write an essay before the semester is over. I have to show how this internship relates to my major and how it can help me in my career field”. The main focus of her internship will be “great customer service”, showing that she knows how to deal with people in a way that satisfies their needs and makes them happy while keeping up Disney World’s “Golden Standards”.
Paleschic would definitely recommend other students to intern because she believes that internships give many benefits. She says, “You can learn a lot about the career field you are going into and also a lot about yourself. You might realize that you want to change what you want to do with your life”. She feels that being out in the field and actually being able to gain experience is much different than sitting in a classroom and learning about it.
Cameron Meiswinkel, former Journalism major at CCC, interned at the Public Relations Department at CCC with John Nichols. He didn’t do the internship for credits at the college, he did it because he wanted to learn and accomplish something. He says, “It helped me become more professional… I don’t think anyone really knows how much work is involved in a job until they experience it first hand, and that’s what my internship helped me with”.
Because Meiswinkel did the internship on his own and not for college credits, there were no requirements regarding the amount of time or work that he needed to fulfill to complete his internship. “I was given my choice of a few different projects to pursue. I ended up organizing a promotional video,” he says. He spent a couple hours once a week in the PR office organizing the video. He was in charge of contacting “students from the Student Pathways Leadership Institute to be in a promotional video for the college. [He] then contacted the video department and set up a time for them to film [him] interviewing the students”.
He feels that doing the internship gave him an edge. He says, “Even though I didn’t go into the field that I interned in, I still believe it gave me an edge because it put me in a professional setting and taught me responsibility”. He recommends other students to take part in internships when they feel that they are ready for the responsibilities that they require. Meiswinkel says, “An internship provides a student with a taste of whatever field they are studying and teaches them to be responsible.” He says that doing an internship was fulfilling because it gave him a sense of pride for what he learned and accomplished.
Internships are a very good way to get references for future jobs and experience to put on your resume. Employers will consider you more highly over other job applicants because you have actually worked in a professional setting and practiced the skills you’ve learned during class, not simply sitting in class and maybe paying enough attention to pass the tests. Internships can also help you realize whether or not you want to pursue the career path that you’re on.
Experience, as well as good grades, is an important part of earning your degree. So, even if it’s not a requirement for your major, you should find out about interning. It will open up many doors for you and help you to feel more confident when you begin your first job.
To discover your own internships go to our schools website at http://www.cccnj.edu. Click the link for future studenrs, then click future careers. Continue to brows through the different internships provided and follow the contact information provided to apply.