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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted November 03, 2016 by

The hidden benefits of an internship that goes bad

Internships lead to career path

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

No internship is a bad internship.

“That’s what my first boss said to me when I started as an experiential education advisor,” said Amy Bravo, senior director of international and experiential education at New York Institute of Technology. “She was right!”

That’s because internships are a test run for the future. And even if a college student or recent college grad completes an internship that makes them realize they no longer want to pursue a certain career path, or the internship isn’t what they hoped it would be, there is still value in completing that internship.

“There are many industries and positions you could pursue in your field of study,” says Bravo. “One industry or position might not be the best fit for your values, interests or skills, but another will be.”

As many interns have learned, internships don’t always confirm that one’s choice of career paths was the right one, says Mark Babbitt, CEO and Founder of YouTern, a web site and community that connects college students and recent college grads to high-impact internships and mentors. “At first, this can lead to frustration, anxiety – even shock,” says Babbitt. “The interns might ask themselves ‘how could I be so wrong?’”

But here’s the reality: There is no better time to be wrong than right now, before your career is well established. “For generations, people have worked at jobs they hated and careers they grew to dread,” says Babbitt. “They felt trapped or obligated. Many were afraid to admit they chose wrong. They feared the idea of starting over even more. So for decades, they worked in a constant state of disengagement.”

“So embrace this time in your life,” says Babbitt. “Instead of being afraid to admit what is clearly a mistake, own it.”

After all, this is the perfect time for a do-over – and perhaps the best opportunity you’ll ever have to become completely focused on exactly what you want. Not what your parents want. Not what you were “supposed” to be. But that person who can really make a difference while doing what they love, says Babbitt.

But don’t quit. In most cases, of course, you’ll want to finish the internship. Even when conflicted, it is important to meet your commitments. Keeping your word is a habit that will serve you well in your career. People will feel comfortable vouching for you. Aside from that, however, there are benefits to finishing what you started.

First, you’ll build the soft skills you can leverage in any career path. Second, you’ll continue to build your personal network. Even better, you can find a mentor. Rather than judge you for a change of heart, a mentor can guide you through this early-career transition.

Alexa Merschel, US Campus Talent Acquisition Leader for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, is on college campuses every day recruiting students for PwC’s internship program. She hears from students who both loved their internship experience, and those who realized the professional services aren’t necessarily for them. She recommends focusing on these areas when completing an internship:

  • Focus on building your network – you never know where it will lead.
  • Investigate all opportunities – it is amazing the opportunities that exist in a firm/company outside of the one you may be currently interning within.
  • Observe the culture – Understand the culture of the organization you are interested in working for, and base that off of the culture you experienced while interning.

All internships do provide value, even if you don’t realize it now. Follow these tips from Bravo to continue to gain from your internship.

  • Write down the pros and cons: What worked and what didn’t? What about it didn’t satisfy your interests in this field? What did you like or learn? Which of your career values did it match (autonomy, location, hours of work)? “Once you shorten the list to essentials you need in a job, start looking for opportunities that match those,” says Bravo.
  • Build your network: You spent a few months at your internship and likely met people of influence and interest. Build on that network. Ask a few professionals with positions that you were interested in for an informational interview. Learn about their career path and the twists and turns they likely took. Finding the right fit usually takes time.
  • Be open to a variety of opportunities: Focus on what you like doing and what you do well. You are more than your major and you can transfer your knowledge and skills to hundreds of positions. You’ll need to confidently convey your value to the next employer.

Even if you’ve already graduated, utilize the resources of your college career services department.

And then, embrace your next challenge and go for it.

“When an internship shows you that a different career path is right for you, don’t think of it as abandoning ship,” says Babbitt. “Think of it as ‘I’m finally steering my ship in the right direction. My direction!”

Need help finding a great internship? Register with College Recruiter and search for internship opportunities. Don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted July 22, 2014 by

Applying for Entry Level Jobs? Don’t Use These 25 Words and Phrases

For job seekers who want to stand out when applying for entry level jobs, there are 25 words and phrases they shouldn’t use according to the following post.

We all try to write the perfect resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Our goal: wordsmith something that will make us stand out among millions of job and internship seekers. And yet somehow, those resumes, letters and profiles always seem to sound painfully similar; they drown in groupthink-inspired sameness…

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Posted June 04, 2014 by

Want to Succeed in an Interview for an Entry Level Job? 10 Things that Will Impress the Interviewer

In order to succeed in your interview for an entry level job, try talking about these 10 things that will impress the interviewer, which are mentioned in the following post.

There is a ton of advice out there about what not to say in an interview (don’t badmouth your boss, don’t ask about salary in the first five minutes, etc.). But how do you know what you must say in an interview? How can you influence the recruiter so she

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Posted June 02, 2014 by

Searching Jobs for Recent College Graduates? 6 Things to Consider about Your Job Search

Once new grads begin searching jobs for recent college graduates, they should consider six things about their job searches.  Find out what they are in the following post.

All around us, the caps have been thrown; the gowns have been stored (or at least thrown in the closet). Several million graduates are now descending on the workforce. And, sadly, way too many of them don’t have a clue what it takes to be successful at the next level. Before they can learn what it takes to

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Posted March 25, 2014 by

Why Your Resume for an Entry Level Job is Falling Short of Interest

If you are wondering why your resume for an entry level job is not drawing responses from recruiters and employers, the following post offers one very good reason.

We hear it all the time… “The economy still sucks. I’ve sent 50 applications and haven’t gotten one call.” In many industries and some locations in the US, it is true: the economy still sucks. However, the cold-hard truth is that if you’ve sent 50+ applications and have generated no interest in you as a potential employee…

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Posted March 11, 2014 by

Internship Finder, Here are the Five Cs to Success in Your Search

What are the keys as an internship finder to getting the right position?  The following post shares the five Cs to a successful search.

Congratulations… you’ve learned that securing an internship is vitally important to your career development, and are ready to take action. However, how to obtain an internship that’s a good fit for you may be a bit unclear. Incorporate the “Five C’s” of an Internship Search – and bring into focus what’s most important to your

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Posted February 17, 2014 by

Rework Your Resume: 7 Ways to Improve Your Interview Chances for Recent Graduate Jobs

Your resume is key to landing a job interview.  If yours can’t compete with that of the competition, you likely won’t get invited to this all important meeting.  So if you’re hoping to improve your chances of landing interviews for recent graduate jobs, the following post shares seven ways to rework your resume.

Statistically speaking, most resumes – no matter how good we think they are – suck. Within the first 6 seconds of review, at least 60% of resumes are thrown away by hiring systems or recruiters. Changing your resume from a “1 in 500” – and being seen as just another also-ran – to the “

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Posted January 23, 2014 by

7 Soft Skills that May Help Secure Jobs for Recent College Graduates

In the following post, learn seven soft skills that may help people secure jobs for recent college graduates.

We hear a lot about communication, leadership, problem solving, and so many other soft skills. And for good reason. Those skills are among the most in-demand by many employers. However, there are seven other soft skills that, while not discussed as often as their popular counterparts, make all the

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Posted January 02, 2014 by

Have You Made New Year’s “Realizations” for Your Entry Level Job Search?

You are probably wondering what are new year’s “realizations” and how can they help your entry level job search?  Find out in the following post.

Many people view the start of a new year as motivation to make a fresh start, to change and improve lives – and careers. And, for many of us, the new year means a new set of New Year’s resolutions. Before you jump in and start making your list for 2014, however

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Posted December 30, 2013 by

Interviewing with an Experienced Recruiter? How to Win the Entry Level Job

If you’re about to interview for an entry level job with an experienced recruiter, make sure you are prepared by using the tips in the following post.

That elusive job or internship is almost yours. You just nailed the phone interview. You have an in-person interview scheduled for next week. Your confidence is sky high. You’re going to get hired. Not so fast. This time, the interview is a veteran; a baby boomer…

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