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Internship hunt seen as important but daunting

Students share job search experience, strategy

Published: Monday, January 20, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 20, 2014 23:01

Intern

William Guerra

To some students, the word “internship” sounds daunting, to others, exciting, and still some are unsure what to think. As the internship-searching season begins, Aggies weigh in on their personal experiences of an internship pursuit.

Samantha Wilson, director of campus programs at the Career Center, said an internship can be very valuable.

“An internship allows you to gain practical experience in your field of interest while building your skills and abilities,” Wilson said.

Wilson said an internship can also help a student determine whether a career is a good fit or not, as well as provide the opportunity for a student to build a network of professional contacts.

During the summer of 2013, Brooks Hutchinson, accounting graduate student, held an internship at a professional service firm where he was offered a job after his graduation in May 2014.

During his search, Hutchinson said his primary focus was on the quality of internships, not quantity of those he applied to.

“First, I decided where I wanted to work, ultimately all in the same industry, but there were different sized firms,” Hutchinson said. “There were larger ones, a little smaller and then middle market sized. I had to make a decision to go big or stay small.”

Hutchinson said he feels confident in his decision of interning last summer with a larger firm in Houston.

“With this company, I felt a large potential for growth, and the location is thriving with many opportunities,” he said.

Madisen Stites, junior industrial distribution major, interned with a company in the electrical industry last summer, but decided to shift her focus to the oil and gas industry.

“I’m glad I interned last summer, because I found out that I didn’t see myself working in the electrical industry,” Stites said.

After further researching the field, Stites said she is much more interested in the activities she would perform in the oil and gas industry.

“I know that this is an industry that I want to work in, and I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Stites said. “But I also felt a lot of pressure from the nature of the industry. I know that many internships in oil and gas lead to full-time employment, so in a way it already felt like I was looking for a full-time job.”

Stites said she believes that interning in two different companies will be great as a reference for comparison.

“The two companies are completely different in size and culture,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what I’ll learn.”

For Holly Vogel, senior marketing major, an internship in the retail industry reaffirmed her aspirations to work in that industry, though she felt stressed while pursuing an internship.

“I felt a slight amount pressure,” Vogel said. “It wasn’t because I wasn’t confident in myself, but it was because I so desperately craved that experience.”

An internship offer did not come right away, but Vogel said her perseverance and determination eventually brought her success.

“In the fall semester I got rejected, but this didn’t stop me from hitting the ground running in the spring,” Vogel said. “It’s important to always remain resilient in rejection.”

Vogel said the difficult, stressful process was very much worth it in the end.

“In my future career as an assistant buyer, because of my internship, I will now know how a basic store operates,” she said. “I’ve always been drawn to the retail industry and I can’t imagine an industry that would fit me better.”

 

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