Original post contributed by: Beza Baheru ’16
As you are enjoying your time on campus, it is a great time to think about internships and jobs for the summer and beyond. You are wondering why do I need internships? My response to your question: internships are very beneficial tools in your journey to exploring your career options. Since it is a temporary position, it allows you to investigate your skills and assess if that particular position aligns with your interests and skills firsthand as you will be carrying out numerous projects throughout your time as an intern.
Where to start your internship search?
Now that we have established the importance of an internship, the next step is to start searching, however since there are a lot of internships and jobs out there, we want to zoom-in and gear our search via a somewhat specific focus. Attaining a certain target will make the internship search easier and manageable. Initially, you should think about where you would want to work and live in terms of city, state and country. Establishing your top three locations will help facilitate the process. Then, you can specify these places in your search. However, this does not mean that you will only limit yourself to these places, you still will look at other locations; you will just prioritize to these places first.
What is your desired job function and industry?
From my personal experience, I rarely thought about the industry while attempting to land an internship during my past summers, rather I would skim through the positions available at various websites and decide based on the description corresponding to the title. I have realized that it is essential to have a brief idea of the industry that you want to work in as well. It is part of the job/internship focus process. You are wondering what is the difference between a job function and a job industry. Job function denotes to the particular duties that you will have as an intern or on the job while job industry refers to the umbrella that the job function is part of. For instance, you can be a research analyst in a health care company. In this case, research analyst is the job function whereas health care is the job industry.
Where do your look for available positions?
There are an infinite number of resources for jobs and internships on the web these days. First and foremost, it is highly recommended for you to look at Davidson’s Wildcatlink, powered by handshake. Davidson alumni and other employers post their open positions since they want Davidson students particularly and they know how hard working Davidson students are. Moreover, networking is a vital part of the job search process, LinkedIn and DCAN are websites that allow you to generate connections with both Davidson alumni, parents and other professionals. These connections will come in handy when you are exploring a specific career path and you want to learn more about the vocation and what educational background is required. In addition to these resources, there are industry-specific sites that cater to one industry, as the name indicates. For instance, mediabistro.com is for Publishing and Journalism-related positions. Additional websites include indeed.com, internships.com, and internmatch.com.