I came to be a career intern the same way that many of us did. I saw an email, completed the application, and gave it my best shot at the interview. As a freshman, I didn’t know much of anything, let alone what the Center for Career Development was or what it did. But walking into that first interview, I felt welcomed not only as a candidate for the position but as a student in the midst of career exploration. What I didn’t know then was that I would come back a semester later as an official Career Intern. Almost 3 years later, I’m getting ready to finish my last semester at the Center, to graduate UConn, and to begin my full time position in the summer!
Being a Career Intern has helped me lead a successful job search in a countless number of ways. But I’ll mention just a few.
Being a Career Intern means an immediate connection to people. From career coaches to fellow students, everyone comes in with a different background and set of experiences. In addition to supportive guidance regarding work, my supervisors made it a priority to be available for any of my career-related needs. If I wanted to learn more about an industry, the likelihood was that at least someone in the office had the right knowledge on it. At the end of the day, we all learned from each other. Whether it was casual conversations or formal meetings, I found myself learning about my career options while I worked.
Before my experience at the Center, I had never been in a formal professional working environment. Sure, I had helped out in the family business and I knew how to be respectful but I quickly learned that professionalism goes far beyond that. In addition to working with students and delivering presentations, a big part of the internship at the CCD is professional development. The one training session that has resonated with me the most was on Personal Branding. I remember learning about professional conduct and good practices for making a good impression. When it was application time for me, I was following all that advice. I was attending the info sessions, I was connecting on LinkedIn, sending the thank you notes, and when I least expected it I got the call!
III. Perfecting the Resume
One of the most rewarding parts of being a career intern has been hearing how helpful a resume critique can be to a student. On the flip side of that, every time I went back to my own résumé, I did so with new eyes and new knowledge. Even when I thought my résumé was perfect, there was always a typo hidden somewhere, or a bullet statement that wasn’t properly written. At our weekly meetings there was always something new to talk about regarding resumes. All of this training and practice made me become a strict critic of my own work. In the end it was that resume, reviewed and edited dozens of times over, that got me the interview and eventually the job.
Being a Career Intern at the Center for Career Development has been so fulfilling and integral to my success at UConn and soon beyond. If I were a freshman faced with the same decisions all over again, I would always chose the CCD.