One of the highlights of college, between the traditions of the freshman fifteen and the all-night study session, is the internship–one of many college trademarks a college graduate will remember for years to come.
The St. Kate’s Career Development office has a vast array of resources available for students who are looking to expand their career options. Among these are resume samples, cover letter samples and portfolio samples; students can use these to improve their resumes and understand what employers are looking for in a prospective employee.
Seeing as most students are required to complete an internship experience before graduation, the Career Development office is happy to assist in any way they can. Students are encouraged to visit with the career consultants, who work with students to narrow down their interests and apply those interests to their chosen career field. One of the best ways for students to find prospective internship opportunities is through the ideas books. The ideas books, located in the Career Development office, and are incredibly useful tools for helping students find a few possible internships they want to apply for. Students are also encouraged to find potential internships on KatieCareer (formerly KatieClick).
Once a list of internship ideas has been decided upon, students will begin correspondence with an internship director. With the director’s assistance, the student will create an internship plan and contact potential internship sites. If contact is established and a position is open, a student will send out a cover letter and a copy of their resume for consideration. At this point, the process becomes very much like a job application process. The student is then asked to fill out an application and send it to the internship site. The site may also ask to interview the student; with this, the Career Development office offers mock interviews for students to practice interview tactics and help improve them as needed.
“With any internship, I’m hoping to take away something that will help me in the future or will help me get an idea of what I’d like to do,” said Tori Kee, ’14. “I’m defining my major in a different way, because, as a Communications major, it’s very broad.”
If a student is successful in securing an internship, she sits down with her internship director to begin generating a list of goals and learning opportunities the student wishes to experience while on the job. This list of goals is signed off on by the project manager and the student’s internship director before the student can begin work. At some point during the process of the internship, both the project manager and the career counselor may meet with the student to discuss the student’s progress.
“All students can benefit from completing an internship,” said Laura Zirngible, one of the internship directors in the St. Paul office. “We have three options; two (or) four credit, zero credit and non-credit. Each provides unique support to help the student be successful in the experience.”
There are also different types of internship credits offered through the Career Development office. Students have the option of taking internships for course credit, in which case, the internship will appear on their official transcripts as well as on their resume. Students can opt for either two credit or four credit options; this option is great for students who need an internship in order to graduate. Students often work at least 80 hours for two credit internships and 160 hours for four credit internships. Otherwise, there is the option to take an internship without college credit, during which students can self-direct themselves in their project sites. These sorts of internships can take the form of volunteer opportunities and apprenticeships as well as short-term projects.
“Don’t limit yourself,” Kee said. “You may be interested in a certain company, but don’t limit yourself to that company, or to a given field in your major. I’m interested in politics, but I’m also interested in helping people and I’m applying for a volunteer coordinator position that uses skills I have.”
The St. Kate’s Career Development Office is located on the fourth floor of the Cour de Catherine, next to the Residence Life office, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with walk-in hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.