Summer internship season is coming as fast as the weather is warming – leaving many students scrambling for internship opportunities with no idea where to look.
Although it may seem like few internship resources are available for students to utilize, the colleges within Ohio University offer a wide range of help when it comes to finding internships.
Sending emails daily, Eddith Dashiell, director of the Scripps College of Communication, likes to inform her students of incoming internship opportunities.
Teaching at OU for over 30 years, Dashiell has quite the alumni connections, oftentimes getting approached by alumni about internship opportunities available to students.
After hearing complaints from students who couldn’t find internship opportunities, Dashiell decided to forward alumni emails regarding internships to students. That way, she could inform all students at once.
Dashiell treats her informative internship duty as a necessary addition to the job – after budget cuts rid the internship coordinator position at Scripps. Without a specific internship coordinator posting internship opportunities to the college’s website, many students complained they felt lost when it came to finding internships. With no one to fill the position, as director, Dashiell took on the added responsibility.
“Usually the internship coordinator is probably a journalist who’s working in there or an employee who works for that particular organization – so they have their own job to do plus promoting the internship program or recruiting interns,” Dashiell said. “I get a lot of emails from those individuals needing help and just sharing. It’s easy to forward it to other people and let the student decide. If it’s not for them, they can hit delete.”
Alongside emails, with the internship coordinator position gone, Scripps also has a podcast devoted toward sharing career and internship opportunities.
Available on platforms like Spotify, “The Scripps Launch Pod” is produced by Erin Roberts, director of student development at Scripps. On the podcast she discusses a wide range of both media job opportunities for graduating students and internships as well as all things involving student professional development.
The podcast also features a diverse array of alumni, students and professionals offering career advice. Similarly to the podcast, a newsletter is sent out to all students containing internship and career opportunities as well.
Students are also welcome to talk to their assigned advisors for help on where to locate internships. Dashiell mentioned that all faculty members believe advising is a critical part of their mission in Scripps, therefore all advisors have the capability and skill sets to help students in terms of where students can find these opportunities.
“The school of journalism prides itself,” Dashiell said. “The faculty, my colleagues, we pride ourselves on being student centered and giving them as much information possible so that you know where to look.”
The Russ College of Engineering and Technology also has its own career services office. Students can schedule an appointment with a career counselor in the Career and Leadership Development Center to discuss anything regarding their major and jobs related to their major.
Available to students is also career assessments that give students an insight to how their skills and personality correlate to their major and a future career.
Alongside departmental advising, the Russ College of Engineering sponsors five day annual career fairs in September, November and February. The career fairs host a plethora of companies seeking internships or post graduation jobs.
The career fair is being held virtually for students to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next upcoming career fair is Thursday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. via Zoom.
Similar to Scripps, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology encourages students to seek career advice from their assigned advisors.
Darin Ridgway, chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering, said the myth that advisors can’t help with career opportunities is false.
“Career advice is part of our advising process,” Ridgway said. “So it’s not just like ‘Take these courses.’ We’re asking, ‘What are you doing this summer, etc.?’ That’s part of our regular advising process in our department.”
They also receive a plethora of emails from alumni seeking interns, which they then forward to students.
Ridgway said having internships can be beneficial for students.
“No matter how good you do in your classes, you can’t really recreate the environment of being in an actual engineering plant,” Ridgway said. “We can tell them about it, but it’s much better if they’re there.”
To increase the hunt for internships, both colleges have established LinkedIn pages to post and promote career opportunities. OU advertises that students use Handshake, a platform used to collect all job and internship opportunities for students.
OU started using the platform back in 2018. All students have to do is upload their resume to Handshake and it often does the rest. It searches through a wide range of career and internship opportunities tailored to the student’s major.
Although Handshake includes a wide range of internship opportunities, Dashiell mentioned that finding media opportunities is scarce. Handshake is a platform utilized by many Fortune 500 companies, many of which media companies do not qualify under.
“The goal is to get more employers using the database,” Dashiell said. “The problem I’ve run into is some media news organizations, they still like good old fashioned email and registering through Handshake is an extra step. Either they don’t have the time or they don’t think it’s worth their time to go that extra step. I know there are a lot of businesses in there, but I don’t how many businesses are journalism related or strategic communication related.”
Although the internship search is heavily online nowadays, Hunter Humphreys, a junior studying English pre-law, recommends taking the old fashioned route and calling local companies asking for job opportunities.
Humphreys has completed two internships over the course of his studies. When it came around to finding the internships, Humphreys called a local attorneys office seeking a position and was able to garner an interview.
Humphreys mentioned it is not only important for students to branch out to local companies, but also important to ask inquiries about the company to build a more professional stature.
“I think also going in with an idea of what they do or questions, especially questions to ask,” Humphreys said. “Because most companies are dying to answer questions about what they do and everything.”