We all come to Penn State to receive an excellent education that will result in securing a great job after graduation. Studying hard and earning a great GPA is a very important factor in receiving job offers after graduation. However, previous work experience and internships are also crucial to landing that ever-important job offer. Employers expect you to complement your academic background with work experience. But the internship application process can be overwhelming and lengthy. Where can Penn Staters begin their search? I’m here to answer some of those questions!

My name is Chelsie Rimel. I am currently a junior majoring in Economics with minors in History and Business and the Liberal Arts. Right now, I am the office assistant for the College of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network. Every day at my internship, I am surrounded by valuable information for professional development. It is so wonderful that there are many opportunities and resources at Penn State. Just about anything a student could want to know about internships, careers, and networking is available at your fingertips. With so much information, how do you narrow down your choices to find the opportunity that fits with your goals?

Start by asking yourself what kind of job do you want? What do you have to offer for that job? What industry would you like to work in? Using the Career Enrichment Network through Network Symplicity is a great way to begin your internship search. Employers send the postings directly to Penn State because they want Penn State students to work at their organizations! There are hundreds of listings in various fields all across the country. Network Symplicity also makes it easy to apply to these internships as well. Using Network Symplicity, you can schedule appointments with staff members in the Network to review resumes, cover letters, and to discuss your career action plan. If you haven’t signed up for an account, please do. It’s a gold mine for internship searches.

Other than Network Symplicity, you can visit company websites for postings too. Most companies will have a ‘Career’ or ‘Job Opportunities’ link on their homepage. (Hint: sometimes these links are difficult to find. Occasionally the link is at the very bottom of the page in tiny writing.)

Sometimes you don’t even have to search for employers, the employers will find you! The College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State often host recruiters from companies to present information sessions for students. Check Network Symplicity and your email for notifications about upcoming events. At these recruiting events, students are able to learn more about the company and the positions available while meeting the recruiters. These are valuable networking opportunities and a way to express your interest and knowledge to a potential employer. Do some research before attending an information session. Learn a little about the company so you have something to talk about with the recruiters. Recruiters will be impressed that you took the time to research their company.

Apply for a lot of internships- don’t limit yourself. Even if you don’t feel you are fully qualified for the position, apply anyway! Worst-case scenario: you don’t get the job. So you might be wondering: how do you make your application stand out in a large applicant pool?

Coming Soon: Part 2: How to compile a stellar application

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