As I search for internships this summer, I’m faced with tons of different advice and options. If money isn’t an object (read: unnecessary), I could probably work anywhere in the world. But, well, see, studying abroad (have I not killed the fact that I was abroad last semester?) cost a lot of money, and now that I’m back and can legally work, it would be awesome to get a paying position. The money is for necessary, not selfish, reasons – I’ll need it for paying rent (wherever I live this summer) and bills and saving for my ticket to SXSW 2011. But I digress, my point is, making money this summer is pretty necessary, and so, I’m attending a career fair being held tomorrow at UW.
I’m following all of the school’s suggestions – making a list of potential employers, doing research, refreshing my resume – but I’m a little nervous. Did I pick the wrong major? Nearly all of the companies in attendance say in their listings that they are recruiting for marketing, finance, accounting interns. I avoided Econ 101 like the plague, and while I’m adept at some math, number crunching is not something I live for.
Strategic communications is the right major for me, that much I know, but I couldn’t help but notice that not a whole lot of creative firms are coming to this event. They are well-aware us strat commies will come crawling to them in search of something, anything that resembles the all-hailed experience. Experience seems to be the key to getting into even entry-level positions out of college, and you usually need at least two years of it. Do I have experience? Hell if I know. I’ve worked a few communications, PR and web internships, feel comfortable with computers (Mac and PC), and have enjoyed every minute of the jobs where I work collaboratively with my co-workers and for our clients.
So does the fact that I’m a communications (that’s emphasis on language, not numbers) major limit me in my search for a paid summer position? Is looking for a paid internship, and openly stating that as an undergrad, absolute insanity? And what does experience mean to employers, anyway? Do students’ majors really matter when they’re applying for internships, or can a combination of great references and a positive, energetic attitude win an employer over?
This is my side of the story, and for all I know, I’m doing it all wrong. But I’m here to learn, so please share any tips and corrections you have with me, I would love love love some feedback!