Why Internships Are Easier in Summer

9 07 2014

Thanks to Justin DeJager for his blog post on internships! 

Students in the Fox Valley area said finding a summer job has been relatively easy, but finding a summer or fall internship is much more important.

“During the semester I don’t have time to work,” Fox Valley Tech student Becca Spanbauer said. “So the summer gives me enough time to make [money] and save up for the following school year.”

Depending on the type of job desired, students said they have found it easy to find work in and around the Oshkosh area.

“I find it super easy to find jobs in Oshkosh,” Spanbauer said. “Because I feel like places in this city are always hiring.”

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Internship Coordinator Barbara Benish said finding a basic job is not enough because more and more companies that hire college graduates have recently been looking for applicants who participated in multiple internships.

“It used to be you needed one internship,” Benish said. “Now the minimum is seen as two.”

For students looking to get an internship Benish said start applying for internships early – by sophomore year if possible. By getting an internship early students are able to enhance their resume and it can also lead to getting better and better internships the following years.

Students said they chose an internship over a basic summer job not only because they have extra time, but it is a requirement of the academic program they are in.

“I have to have an internship before I can graduate from the College of Business,” UWO student Carly Schoenenberger said. “I have much more time during the summer than I do during the school year, so I thought it would be a good time to get it done.”

Minimal experience or other responsibilities may hold some students back from attempting to get an internship, but Benish said there are opportunities for students who are in this position.

“Look for the nonprofits,” Benish said. “They are willing to work with you because they understand they don’t pay. Some want 20 hours a week, but some only want four or five hours a week. Start there and slowly build your skill set and each time you will get a better and better internship as the semesters follow.”

For students who want help getting a summer or fall internship Benish recommends using UWO resources, such as Career Services, that provide regular workshop hours for students to talk one-on-one with trained personnel about internships, preparing a resume and on-site interviews.

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