Be a Career Intern at the Center for Career Development

Guest author: Leila Shwayhat, Career Intern, Center for Career Development

When I first applied to be a career intern (or CI as you’ll hear them referred to in the office) at the Center for Career Development, I had no idea what to expect. I saw the position listed and decided it seemed interesting, so why not give the application a shot? Over the past year, I have genuinely enjoyed the time spent at work, and am sure you will too. In no particular order, here are the top five reasons you should apply to work at the Center for Career Development:

Reason 1: Expand your network

I am admittedly very much an introvert, so I was definitely nervous walking into that first day of training. I shouldn’t have worried, though, because every one of the other interns- both new and returning- was more than welcoming. Through training week and weekly meetings, we all got to know and support one another over the course of the year, and there is no other group of people I’d rather have as co-workers.

Another benefit of working here is being able to interact with the staff on a daily basis, and gaining “insider” access to the resources that the Center offers. Each CI is assigned a project area under a full-time staff member. While CIs predominantly help other students, every member of the staff also genuinely cares about helping us, as well. Whether you are concerned about your own job or internship search, or just need some advice, the staff at the Center for Career Development are extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and they are there to support the CIs, too.

Holiday Gathering

Reason 2: Enhance your career development

At some point in your life, you are going to need a résumé. They are used for everything from scholarships to full-time jobs. Having the skill to market yourself and your experiences on one page is crucial. As an intern, you will undergo a lot of training in order to be able to help others revise their résumés. We learn other career development skills as well, such as networking, LinkedIn, job searching, and how to write cover letters. I’ve learned so much through this internship, and my résumé is all the better because of it.

Reason 3: Develop strong communication skills

Being a CI is not all résumé critiques and projects, though. Another part of the job that each CI does is FYE presentations. Remember those résumé presentations you had in class as a first-year student? Yeah, that was us! Being able to teach students who may have never had to write a résumé before is extremely rewarding. Additionally, public speaking experience and gauging an audience is an invaluable skill to have, regardless of your career path.

Reason 4: Focus on professional development

As a part of CI training, we learn various professional development skills. These include various workshops, such as etiquette in a professional setting, writing strong cover letters, and diversity and inclusion. These are very important skills to have in both the corporate world and as a CI. In this job, you will get to meet many new people and develop professionally alongside them. Undergraduate students of all ages, majors, and backgrounds come into the Center for Career Development for résumé critiques, practice interviews, and all of the other services we offer. Professional development and being a CI go hand-in-hand.

Reason 5: Gain experience in a professional environment

Working at the Center for Career Development is different from many other on-campus employment opportunities because the student employees get real experience working in a professional environment. We work closely with the full-time staff and maintain professionalism at all times. The CI’s are given real responsibilities, which can be great experiences to add to a résumé or discuss in an interview.

I am so grateful for my experience working at the Center for Career Development and would recommend the CI position to anyone looking to work in a professional environment while helping others develop their skills.

Questions? Contact Monique Cooper, Career Consultant & CI Program Manager at monique.cooper@uconn.edu.

By Monique Cooper
Monique Cooper Career Consultant Monique Cooper