Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Note To College Students Looking For Summer Internships

Accept the offer on the spot!

"Why?" you ask. "It's the economy, stupid," to quote a line often stated by President Clinton's campaign officials when he was running for President in 1992. I know you live in an insulated environment and that most of your parents support you. But, the economy is contracting every day. In this economy, it's hard to find work for interns when companies have less work for their paid employees. People are getting laid off from their jobs - more than 1.2 million in January and February alone. Some newer professionals are taking unpaid internships just to stay in the working world and in the hope that they might turn into paying jobs. I have completed resumes for many young people in that position, including 2008 college grads without jobs.

If you are fortunate enough to land a few interviews for unpaid internships, do your best, learn as much about the company as you can. Know WHY you want that job and be ready to discuss YOUR CAREER GOALS and how that internship aligns with those goals. There are no certainties that you will land that internship. After all, there are hundreds of students just like you lining up for those couple of jobs.

So, if you are telephoned on Friday from one of your interviewers who calls to give you the good news, JUST SAY YES!! And sound very excited and honored. You don't have the luxury of sounding non-committal and asking when you have to let them know. You might find yourself in a situation where your offer is rescinded and given to one of the 99 people anxiously waiting behind you. That's the real world. Operate from a place of gratefulness and you will do very well in this environment.

[Do I sound like your mother or father? I hope so!] Randi