Recently, writers for the Beachcomber were afforded the opportunity to attend a journalism conference. While in attendance of a seminar on internships, several students from other schools interrupted the presenter several times to say “I am a senior. I graduate in May. How can I get an internship now?” After the fourth time, the presenter said “I don’t know what to tell you, you should have started when you were a freshman.”
But how are you supposed to get an internship when you are just a freshman? The same way most people get a job, by networking. And where is a good place for students to network, at school events. PBSC offers students numerous opportunities to network, and they allow you to have fun while you do.
On the Eissey Campus, the Corporate and Continuing Education Program (CCE) has held Women’s Empowerment Events, which brought business women from the community to the college to network. Students were allowed to attend, and those who did had the opportunity to make connections and possibly receive an internship.
The Boca Campus, CCE has a monthly woman’s breakfast, the last Tuesday of the month at 8:30am which also allows students a networking opportunity. Students are allowed to attend free of charge, and men are allowed to attend as well.
The college also has events with guest speakers from different fields. This allows students to network with people in various fields. The Career Centers have also held events on all of the campuses that have provided networking opportunities. These are opportunities you need to take advantage of. But how can you take advantage of them? By being prepared.
First, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Most people going to school dress for comfort, however, on days when there is a networking opportunity, dress for a future career. This will allow you to feel confident, and will make it more likely to be offered an opportunity.
Second, be prepared, do some research. Who is speaking? Where do they work? Where did they go to school? Have some questions ready for them. How did they get to where they are now? What were some of their obstacles and how did they overcome them? What advice could they give you on their career?
Third, ask them if they have a card. If they give you one, make sure to write them an email that same day. In the subject line, write the name of the event you met them at and the school’s name. The email should be brief. Thank them for their time, let them know you enjoyed meeting them, and either ask them a question, or ask for time to continue the discussion you had with them. Or, you can ask them if their company has any internship opportunities.
This may seem like a frightening prospect at first, but the worst thing they can do is say no. But since most of them started right where you did, they will most likely say yes.