Internships have become a critical part of the educational journey. If you want to find employment in your field quickly after graduation, you have to start early and gain a breadth of experiences.

So, how can you land these valuable internships? Here are five tips.

#1 Diversify Your Portfolio

Explore various job-related experiences, including work-study positions, summer jobs, volunteer opportunities, class projects and campus involvement. They will open doors to internships and post-grad opportunities.

George Fox’s IDEA Center can help you articulate your experiences onto a resumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Instead of “Work Experience” as a section header, we use “Experience” so that all these great, rich opportunities can be gathered under one umbrella.

#2 Develop Your Soft Skills

Employers look for candidates with strong communication skills, like writing and presenting. Standing out in these areas can put you ahead. And taking on leadership roles – such as serving as an intramurals captain or student government leader – also looks great on a resumé.

Finally, critical thinking and problem solving are huge. For instance, be able to articulate how the work processes in a group project brought you to certain problem-solving methods and conclusions.


#3 Tap Into Resources

Professors are a great resource. They are well connected to their industry and often stay in touch with graduates who are working in their fields. Also, use LinkedIn to identify people in your field, particularly alumni, and ask for informational interviews to build your network. The IDEA Center can show you how to utilize this vast online resource.

#4 Hone Your Professional Skills

To be successful in a job or internship, things like showing up on time, not asking for too much time off, asking good questions, finding projects without having to be told, and practicing good customer service skills are critical. That’s where work-study and summer jobs come in handy, giving you an outlet to practice these professional skills.


#5 Get Involved In Outside Organization

Get involved in professional associations and organizations related to your major. Student memberships are available with organizations like the American Marketing Association or the Oregon Media Production Association. These organizations have networking events, as well as job boards and opportunities for getting involved. Professionals often love helping students in their field, so now is the time to start building these relationships!

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