From the editor-in-chief: take my advice and get an internship

Life beyond Eastern is a muddle of uncertainties for most of us. The paramount concern amidst everything else is finding a job that will pay for our college debt.

A friend of mine, who graduated from Eastern in the spring of 2007, encountered an uphill battle attempting to find a job with only his bachelor’s degree to boast. The explanation for his trouble was simply that he had no experience. A degree, though highly-regarded, is just a certificate of your ability to learn. Experience, combined with a degree, is what really impresses companies and organizations.

Considering the thousands of other students graduating from college the same time that we are, it is important that we differentiate ourselves from the pack. The practical solution is a résumé that says you’re better equipped for a job than the competition. Internships are awfully beneficial for this immediate reason.

The best way to find any job may be knowing people. As the saying goes, “It’s who you know, not what you know.” Internships offer an incredible opportunity to meet people who can help you in your future.

The first step in getting an internship is finding a place or program that fits your interests. Although internship programs are the obvious safe bet, offering yourself as an intern anywhere is likely to be received welcomingly. Companies and organizations are excited to hire intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic college students for small salaries, or better yet, credits.

In my first internship, I connected with a company I thought looked interesting and offered to work for them for free. The company wasn’t searching for an intern but couldn’t pass up on the offer, and so they brought me on board.

Working in the accounting and finance department at my internship has greatly increased my knowledge and skills in the field. Though the company doesn’t usually deal with interns, I’m gaining as much practical experience as any advertised internship program may offer.

Even if you’re uncertain what career specifically you want to pursue, an internship is a valuable way to help you make the decision of which direction to head in, or not head in. What better way to determine your future than to taste test it in the present?

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It was written this issue by Alexander Keith Long.

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