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Career Center offers summer internship opportunities

Jenn Metz | Thursday, April 12, 2007

As the academic year draws to a close, many students have their summer plans for jobs and internships set. But for those without plans, especially seniors in need of permanent jobs, the Notre Dame Career Center provides services and resources to make the search easier.

Lee Svete, director of the Career Center, said there is still “a strong market” for seniors. The Indiana Career Fair was held before Easter break, and the Chicago Career Fair will be held Friday at the University of Chicago for students from the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and other top schools in the Midwest. This fair will feature representatives from 50 to 70 employers.

Another, more easily accessible option for students is the virtual Big East career fair. Students will have access to 180 employers offering up to 600 permanent jobs with the Big East online system.

“Even though companies have stopped coming to campus to recruit, there are still a lot of options out there,” Svete said.

Seniors also have access to Irish Online, a protected networking database that provides contact with 10,000 alumni. Svete encouraged networking with alumni to get contacts and necessary information to secure good jobs.

For first-year students, sophomores and juniors, access to the alumni network is also available, but only in terms of looking for volunteer internships.

“It is not too late to find an internship,” Svete said. Internet databases like Intern Exchange through Go Irish on the Career Center’s Web site are protected, providing access to only a few schools. As of Wednesday, about 7,000 internships were still available through this database.

Svete also recommended jobcentral.com for its keyword search option, which can help students narrow down their search to their specific area of interest and preferred location. This Web site is updated regularly.

“After their first year, students should start looking for internships. Hometown internships are great options,” Svete said.

He said students should use their first and second summers for experimenting and exploring different types of fields, but the summers after junior and senior years should be dedicated to career growth internships.

“The challenge is not finding an internship, but is finding a paid internship,” Svete said. Currently, the University participates in the Indiana Career Program Fund, which pays for 50 to 60 Notre Dame students’ internships in Indiana.

The Career Center has proposed to take this program nationally and is working on endowments for the project.

Another option for students is an internship for credit. For example, anthropology students can get credit for interning at the Field Museum in Chicago. According to Svete, for-credit internships are very popular in the film and television areas.

Svete recommended students start rough drafts of résumés and that they “just come in and get started – the earlier the better.”

Freshman Eleanor Huntington visited the Career Center Tuesday because she “felt the need to start looking and establishing relationships.”

She said her career counselor was very helpful in explaining the center’s services and offered advice for constructing her résumé.

“I received concrete, direct advice about what I should be doing now, and what I should do next,” Huntington said.

Svete advises students to be aware of deadlines for some internship programs, which depend on the desired discipline.

“An early start is a sage start, but there are still tons of opportunities out there for this summer,” he said.