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« An Expanded View of Networking | Main | Questions to Ask Potential Employers »

March 22, 2011


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My undergrad was in IT. Some of my IT classmates worked food service or other non IT part time jobs -- jobs that had nothing to do with getting IT experience. An internship is guaranteed to be related to your field of study and is typically more difficult to get, I think, than a soft burger serving job.

In our classes many of the projects were legitimate IT projects some of which I still reference 4 years later. In some fields classwork counts!

Lastly, if an applicant says they love programming (or Linux, or building computers) if they can't talk about at least one project that they did on their own just for fun, I don't believe them and am much less interested in them.

I think college internships are absolutely critical to finding a job after graduation. (or at least it was when I graduated.)

I was lucky in that my fiancee was well versed in this as he was raised in a different background than I was. I would have just kept working in a minimum wage job because I didn't even know internships existed, and I didn't know any professional people in my life. I currently work for the company I had my first internship with, and that was a long time ago.

I will also add Student Exchange experience is great to add on the resume as well. I always encourage young students to go overseas to learn new culture and really experience it. When you have seen things from another country, you will have a broader mindset and concern things around the world. Even just a different perspective to see the same thing is huge.

"4. How does "class work" count as work experience? I must be missing something here..."

We (as in the whole class of 30) worked on a real marketing project for a real company in my marketing class, and executed it with flying colors. It is something I mentioned in interviews and companies seemed impressed with it.

"class work" might also give you specific skills (ex. certain computer programs come to mind) that would be pertinent for a resume

From personal experience, the best experience I got was with internships and technical/hourly jobs in my field. Internships also help get you in the door -- after doing an internship the company I worked for offered me full time professional a job. I can only speak for the field of engineering though.

All of my job offers after college were a result of internships. In a world where who you know can be more important than what you know, internships are the most important. No one ever asked me my GPA or about the extracurricular actives. Over the course of my career, I cant remember a single hire fresh out of college who didnt intern with the company or a company/person we knew well.

On study abroad- really dont care. In fact, it might be a red flag. Study abroad these days is a way for college kids to take an expensive semester off. If one decides to go, they had better do something of value because I am going to zero in on it and hammer them on their experience.

A key thing to remember with internships and other jobs---you absolutely have to impress people while you're there, or it's worthless.

I got my current job after an internship with the company.

I definitely agree that internships are a good thing to have on a resume. Second to that would be any kind of work experience that is relevant to the job in question.

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