In 2019, over 3 million college students will earn degrees and start applying for their first jobs after graduation, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. How does one stand out among so many applicants?
A workshop Tuesday aims to help Texas A&M University-San Antonio students gain field experience, to have a better chance at landing the right job out of college sooner.
This brand-new G.R.O.W.L. session on Summer Internships and Volunteerism takes place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 16 in Room 242 of the Science and Technology building.
Presenters will discuss where to find internships, what skills employers seek and how to plan one’s own individualized path to employment after graduation.
The speakers are civic engagement coordinator and internship coordinator Christina Guerra and Kaelyn Dudley. Students may come and go freely during the hour-long event. Snacks and drinks are provided.
Employers want to see that applicants are active and well-rounded. To that end, internships are useful for students in all majors or ones still choosing theirs, says Michelle Anguiano, academic success coach at A&M-San Antonio.
“It gives students who know what they want to do more experience,” Anguiano said. “But it also gives undecided students the opportunity to start getting that kind of experience to see which direction they wish to pursue.”
The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that students who try multiple internships have better employment success right after graduation, according to a 2017 study. Number of internships is considered a top factor — equally important as GPA for making an appealing resume.
Even entry-level experience into a field could be revelatory, Anguiano said.
Education majors could use this opportunity to discover which environment they feel most comfortable teaching in.
Media students may relish the chance to get backstage in a real production studio. Anybody who is unsure what direction they’re heading can explore career options by trying out a few firsthand.
Getting to know experts and their business is a valuable experience. Performing the daily duties of a job could be drastically different from studying the theory in class, Anguiano said.
Cultivating professional relationships through internships could help one develop the right skills for a career, Anguiano said. A short time commitment now might reveal the shortest route to success in a field, or make you change your mind entirely.
Switching majors is common; the U.S. Department of Education says one in three bachelor’s degree students change their major — and one in nine will switch twice.
Internship experience can grant new perspectives on a career, possibly revealing it isn’t the right fit.
“Students cannot find this out if they’re not out in the field” Anguiano said. “They’re missing out on that information, connecting, networking, engaging, if they’re not taking advantage of these opportunities, and you don’t want to find out too late.”