Internship or job? It’s time to prepare

Matt Harkins, Circulation Director

With the last month of  spring semester here, UPJ students begin the process of finding a summer occupation,  whether the student is applying for a summer job or an internship.

Internships, typically three to six months in duration, are guided by a structured learning plan that includes specific educational objectives, according to the UPJ Career Services website.

UPJ Career Services Office staff is available to help students find a summer internship or job.

“Some companies recruit year round,” said Career Services Director Renee Patchin.  “Every company has their own recruiting schedule.

“Students should watch and know the recruiting cycle of the company they want to apply to.”

Patchin said potential employers expect to see internships on college students’ applications.

“Employers expect to see a minimum of one or two internships on a student’s resume.”

“Internships have the same job duties and tasks whether they are paid or unpaid,”  Patchin said.

“Job recruiters don’t see a difference in paid and unpaid internships,” said Patchin.  “They just see it as experience.”

Patchin said employers, when they have full-time openings, often look to interns and volunteers before they look for candidates outside the company.

Some students don’t take the internship path and instead obtain a part-time job to make money during summer.

“I will be working at Thompson’s Pharmacy over the summer,” said UPJ junior Joel Black.

Patchin said a student sometimes can find a way to split summer work between an internship and part-time job.

“Students probably at least need to work 15-20 hours a week for an internship.”

Patchin said they have a list of websites that students can use to find internships, part-time or full-time jobs.

Two of the major websites that students can use are UPJ Simplicity and Internships USA.

There will be an opportunity for students to talk to employers on March 30 in the Cambria Room, Patchin said.

There is also to be two other career fairs at Mercyhurst College March 29 and St. Francis University March 30.

The WestPACS career fair is being held today at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Patchin said appropriate attire is essential to promoting a professional image at career fairs.

“When attending any career fair, students should attend being dressed professionally and not casually,” said Patchin.