Getting a job

No internship this summer? Here’s how to get one next summer (or sooner)

Let’s face it, not everyone who would have liked to have an internship this summer has one. If you are like many students you are probably working anyway, so here is a quick tip to add value to your internship search now for the next wave of hiring.

Network where you work NOW. 

Many places where college students work over the summer can be leveraged to future jobs in a career path. The key is to take advantage of the people at your place of work to learn more about what you desire.

I spoke to a student that attended a local community college at my neighborhood grocery store the other day as he was checking us out. He said that he was interested in supply chain logistics but didn’t see how being a cashier helped him get to his next step in the process. I asked him if he had spoken to the manager in charge of receiving shipments about his interest in supply chain. He had not. I said that when he finds out about how the store receives goods and how the supply chain is affected to go the next step up and ask if he can take a trip to the distribution center. He confessed that he never thought to do that. He was looking for supply chain internships with energy companies and didn’t think this job had anything to offer other than the paycheck.

There are other examples as well.

Want to be an accountant? Who handles the books where you work? You’ve probably taken a management accounting class. Ask them to show you the ins and outs of running accounting functions for the business.

Marketing major? Retail merchandising? Who decides where the advertising is placed?  Ask if you can shadow them on your day off to find out what marketing plans they use for the business.

Want to be in management or human resources? Tell your manager.

Network where you work NOW by showing interest to the people that do the type of work you want to pursue. You would be surprised how willing people are to share with you what they do on a day to day basis.

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Troy Hopkins

Troy Hopkins, JD, PHR is the Director of Undergraduate Career Counseling at the Rockwell Career Center at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Troy is also the instructor for General Business internships for undergraduate majors at the Bauer College.