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Why Are Internships Important?

By Andrea Byrd (Mississippi Valley State University)

Student Career Journal is a series of articles written by HBCU students about college life, career activities and opportunities on their campus that encourage career development and building success habits.

  • Acquiring new skills. Attaining an internship is an opportunity for a student to acquire one or more new skills that will help them enter their profession. Not only do employers seek applicants who are fluent in their job duties, but they also want to hire employees who are multidimensional. According to Forbes, acquiring new skills is vital in order to “differentiate yourself in the market, brand yourself, and build the critical relationships that you need to be successful”.
  • Every student should have prior knowledge of the career they seek. Before the commitment to a career path, internships encourage students to have hands-on experience in their respective fields. The number of jobs that require hours of hands-on experience outside of the classroom before the application has increased. For instance, CNN stated that “companies that devote time and resources to finding, selecting and training interns are looking for a return on their investment”. 
Why Internships are Important?

Thus, internships are becoming a necessity because companies want to know that their prospective employees have actual experience with what they do. One way to be sure of that is through an internship with the company.

  • Internships show the drive of the applicant. These opportunities allow young adults to shine in their lines of work. They let others know that time has been dedicated to developing their craft. In addition to showcasing their personality traits, applicants can add to their credentials and market themselves to employers seamlessly.  More than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies hire full time employees from among their interns.
  • Internships are an important networking tool. By doing internships, students are in great positions to make long standing relationships with people who can help them succeed. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple says, that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Internships help students work with experienced professionals who could see their potential and encourage them to progress in a career they could love. Networking within an internship can put a student in line for  the career they actually want instead of the career where they just settle. 

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Choosing a Career, Internships, Professional Development, Student Career Journal | Comments Off on Why Are Internships Important?

Healthy Study Habits for the New Year

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

By Andrea Byrd (Mississippi Valley State University)

Student Career Journal is a series of articles written by HBCU students about college life, career activities and opportunities on their campus that encourage career development and building success habits.

Every student has experienced unhealthy study habits at one point or another. According to sociologist  Richard Arum, “45 percent of undergraduate students show little advancement in their ability to think critically, reason, or write well after their first two years of college”. This is often due to extracurricular activities, off-campus social life, and the overall frequency of campus events. However, it is also, in part, due to unhealthy study habits.

Even though having a healthy study plan can make or break the rest of a student’s college career, students struggle to break the cycle. This quick guide to relinquishing bad study habits could reshape the well-being of student’s academic record.

A designated study space is a MUST.  Having separate spaces for studying and for relaxing is a sure-fire way to stay focused on the task at hand. It is harder for students to mix leisure with purpose-driven studying– if there are designated spaces to do both. Due to the prevalence of technology, an article from stopad.io noted that “When students are distracted by their gadgets, they fail to hear and understand the information they’re supposed to.” Designated spaces for studying and doing schoolwork help to distinguish leisure from academics. It also helps further the distance between your electronics like a desktop computer and a smart phone while studying. While this doesn’t work for everyone, it is also good for studying to take place in spaces that aren’t overly cozy.

Take a break. While studying, students should be focused and devoted to the goal they are trying to accomplish. However, studies have shown that unhealthy study habits can contribute to student burnout. Specifically, studies say that “the average student can’t focus on a given task for more than two minutes without becoming distracted.” One solution to increase focus is to take periodic breaks from studying. Hanging out with friends or watching an episode of a favorite TV show is stimulating to the brain after the heaviness of continued college school work. A study break will act almost like a reward and evoke an increase in “dopamine levels (the neurochemical associated with pleasure and reward)” in the brain.

Less stress is best. Being a student can be a stressful responsibility. There is a lot of work that comes with college life. At the end of the semester, students often cram information for their final exams. This ultimately results in stress and increased anxiety for future tests with some professors seeing “students for the first time at a final exam”. The important message here is that students need to destress during a chaotic time. This will ensure that good habits are manifested help develop more effective ways to cultivate learning.

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Posted in Career Advice, College Life, Grad School, Student Career Journal | Tagged | Comments Off on Healthy Study Habits for the New Year

Should I Add my Temp Jobs on my Resume?

Become a Librarian
Don’t Forget Temp Jobs!

I often jump into the #JobHuntChat on Twitter on Monday nights at 9p EST where people who are searching for jobs hang out in spirited conversation with Recruiters and HR people who hire.

One big topic of discussion was whether or not to include temp jobs on a resume. For the most part, all the recruiters shared that it was appropriate to list temp jobs on our resumes. However, the one caveat? The temp jobs you list, must be relevant to your career story or the position for which you are applying.

Some of the comments in the chat included:

“Just list it. If they screen you out that is their loss. It’s one more way to determine you are finding a place that values the whole YOU” – @RecruiterScrib

“List them if they are relevant” – @GemmaTothSCP

“Relevance matters I think. If it’s not relevant, use the space to share something relevant. Diverse skills matter but the resume reader has a short attention span. Use it wisely” – @breea16

“I say list. It’s all about relevance. If the only thing you have to brag about as an entre into a great role is temp exposure, I say use it” – @MarciaFRobinson

The fact is, in a successful job search or internship search we use the background, experience and skills that what we already have. If what we have is experience in temp jobs then that is what we use until we have more.

I know plenty of people whose career passions turned into professional success because they were exposed to an occupation or a job that was temporary or seasonal. Find a way to include what is relevant on your resume for the position you are seeking.

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Posted in Career Advice, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, Internships, Job Search Tips, Life After College, What Employers Want | Tagged | Comments Off on Should I Add my Temp Jobs on my Resume?
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