Internship possibilities widely untapped at SVSU
March 21, 2005 —
Have you ever had a student here tell you that they need a job? I hear this all the time from strangers and friends that I have at SVSU. I think this is a good thing, but find that a few things usually take place after the simple uttering of this infamous sentence.
Usually, the student doesn't go through great lengths in their attempt to find and fill out applications. Let's suppose that a student does actually do this – well, in most cases, it is in vain because they are not educated or perceive themselves having more experience than they really do in sending an effective resume with it. I think that this usually results in no job or a job that someone really draws no particular interest in, which limits his or her ability to perform well. I believe that all of the above could have been effectively prevented by the student taking a trip to the Career Planning & Placement Office here at SVSU.
While sitting in class one day, I realized how the material will probably be of no real use to me when I get out of college, besides a mediocre grade on a transcript. This is when the idea really hit me to stop wasting my time in these types of classes and look for a co-op and internship within my major that will help me ready myself for a career. Many colleges have courses in training for co-ops and internships that cost money and valuable time. SVSU offers a 90-minute workshop for free that can prepare students for an internship that is presented by Wynn McDonald, assistant director of Career Planning & Placement. The workshop will introduce the steps to sign up for the College Central Network, which can be used to look for the right internship for students to apply for.
So why are students wasting all their time complaining about not getting a job? A usual internship's requirement is just to be enrolled at SVSU, have and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and receive departmental approval from the student's major or minor area of study based on the department's criteria. Of course, there is work to be done to setup the internship, but I was shocked at how easy this seems to be and couldn't believe the opportunity that I might be missing out on.
A co-op job isn't quite as easy to obtain as far as the program requirements go. It is still open to all students, but international students must provide proof of authorization to work off campus. A student must have 31 credits, a 2.5 Cumulative GPA and complete a minimum of 24 credits throughout the four semesters of an academic year. They also must have at least one year of coursework remaining until graduation. I think a large number of students still fall in this category.
The positives of a type of job under these requirements would highly outweigh any negatives. You can then, in some cases, get credits while at a job, learn hands on what will take place in your respective field, not waste time and get the feeling of confidence that you are really starting to accomplish something. For some reason, if you don't get a job, you will still pull the valuable skills of setting up a resume, interview etiquette, how to find the right employer, how to network, and the way that you should dress in your workplace or the interview itself. What is to lose when you are getting all of this for free?
I hope this wakes some students up out of the way of thinking that I originally approached going into college. This idea was to work and get a degree before getting a job in the field I'm looking into. Why would anyone do that when they can get a head start while maintaining the ability to get a degree? I don't think that there is anything to lose in checking out a co-op position or internship position opposed to just applying for the many easy opening jobs on or near campus. Even if you don't get hired, you will learn valuable lessons for future employment applications and interviews through all of your work and preparation to get an internship or co-op.