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SMC panel educates students on landing internships

| Thursday, January 22, 2015

Organized by the Career Crossings Office and department of business and economics, an internship panel presented on Wednesday to educate students on landing proper internship positions.Caitlyn Jordan

Organized by the Career Crossings Office and department of business and economics, an internship panel presented on Wednesday to educate students on landing proper internship positions.

Wednesday, the Career Crossings Office (CCO) and the department of business administration and economics sponsored an internship panel to help Saint Mary’s students find the right internship to spearhead future career goals.

The panel consisted of five members, including director of talent management with INTERNsjc for the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce Kate Lee, Sunburst Races Coordinator for Beacon Health System Theresa Fry and Saint Mary’s students, senior Sara Bauer and juniors Maddie Gibbs and Megan McCullough.

Stacie Jeffirs, director of the CCO and mediator for the event, said she hoped the panelists would provide students with the information they need to find and participate in an internship occurring during the summer months or during the school year.

“Students should [learn] more about what employers seek in interns, how to stand out in the application process and how they can make the most of their internship experiences,” Jeffirs said.

During the panel, both McCullough and Bauer recommended scheduling a meeting with the CCO to the attendees of the panel.

“My first piece of advice would be to go to the Career Crossings Office because they will help guide you to getting the internship that you want,” Bauer said.

“We assist students by helping them identify their interests and how these connect to possible internship opportunities, providing information on how to research and locate internships and applying for opportunities, which includes assistance with writing resumes and cover letters, networking and interviewing,” Jeffirs said.

The panel revolved around questions concerning what employers are looking for in an internship applicant.

“Show that you are organized. Always be on time or a little early, and show that you have communication skills,” Frye said. “It is very important for me to know that you are going to be able to pick up the phone and talk to people.”

Lee said along with flexibility in a candidate, she also looks for professionalism in a candidate’s e-mails and resumes. She stressed the importance of always using spell check and professional language in the work environment.

“You must also dress for the position that you want for yourself because you have plenty of time to press your pants if you do not have a job,” Lee said.

The panel also discussed the importance of responding to e-mails from employers with promptness.

“If you want [an internship], you have to show them that you want it,” Gibbs said. “You need to be prompt, because if you make [the employer] wait, they will lose their interest in you.”

Frye said employers will also assume that you have lost interest in pursuing an internship with their company if you do not respond to their e-mails or calls in a timely manner.

“I have a hard time with delayed responses to e-mails,” Frye said. “We have smart phones and computers that we are always on. If you cannot respond in 24 hours, I will assume that you are just not that interested.”

McCullough said it is essential for students to show their potential employer that they have confidence.

“You cannot be afraid to go into something that you have never done before. Be courageous and be confident because an employer will notice,” McCullough said.

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