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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 June 23, 2014 by

10 Attitudes College Graduates Should Have to Increase Their Hopes of Landing Jobs

College graduates looking to land jobs should adopt any of these 10 attitudes found in the following post.

Employers are looking for people with not just technical skills, but those with the attitude your co-workers, customers and vendors respect. So choosing the right attitude makes a huge difference to their business, and your chances of getting hired there. Here are 10 value-adding attitudes, what they look like, how they help you and employers, and some questions to

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Posted June 09, 2014 by

What LinkedIn Says about College Recruiting in 2014

As graduates head off into the real world, they will have decisions to make concerning their career paths.  So for grads and employers who are interested, the following post reveals what LinkedIn says about college recruiting in 2014.

Another graduating class has walked across the stage, diplomas now in hand. Next step: the workforce. But what are these recent grads thinking? What about a career opportunity appeals to them most (and least)? What companies to they most want to work for? And where do they go to find work?

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Posted May 29, 2014 by

Want that First Entry Level Job? Tips to Help You Get It

If you’re wondering how to obtain your first entry level job, the infographic in the following post has some tips for achieving this goal.

As we send another crop of graduates into the workforce, the job market continues to be problematic. Consider: 1 in 4 recent college graduates remain unemployed Another 15 to 20 percent consider themselves under-employed (meaning they aren’t yet fully using their education in their current job) So how do you beat these odds? And

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Posted May 05, 2014 by

Searching for Entry Level Jobs on Social Media in 2014? Who are These Social Job Seekers?

If you are wondering who are the social job seekers who might be searching for entry level jobs in 2014, learn more about them in the following post.

Every year since 2010, Jobvite has conducted a survey centered around social media and networking trends among job seekers. Their 2014 results reveal some interesting data points: Competition not as tough? In 2013 69% of all job seekers were open to a new job; in 2014, that number has dipped to 51% Referrals are royalty? 40% of job seekers have found

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Posted April 14, 2014 by

Haven’t Found Jobs for Recent College Graduates Yet? 9 Ways to Advance Your Career by Volunteering

While many soon to be college graduates may not have found jobs for recent college graduates, that doesn’t mean they cannot get some worthwhile experience in the mean time.  The following post shares nine ways to advance your career by volunteering.

Volunteering is a mutually beneficial opportunity; a chance to help the greater good, while providing you with great self-reward. What you might not know is that volunteering is well worth your time and effort in order to advance in your career, or transition into a new one. Consider the reasons why

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Posted April 14, 2014 by

Don’t Think Twitter is an Effective Tool for Your Entry Level Job Search? 7 Steps to Follow for Success

If Twitter is not a part of your entry level job search, learn seven steps to use on the site to help you find success with it in the following post.

When I talk with job seekers about Twitter, I often get a curious look. I try walking them through my process for building their personal network or connecting with potential new employer, but that doesn’t seem to work. Twitter is often one of those things people don’t get until they dig

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Posted April 08, 2014 by

Internship Finder, 4 Ways You Can Ruin Your Experience

An internship finder can choose to either make the best or worst of his or her experience.  Learn four ways to do the latter in the following post.

Your internship has the possibility to give you meaningful experiences and important career lessons and connections that change your life entirely. Sounds like too much work to us! Just go through the motions and follow our guide to gaining absolutely nothing from your internship and, in no time at all, your boss will be saying, “We have an intern?

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Posted April 07, 2014 by

Grads, Interviewing for Entry Level Jobs? 7 Challenging Questions You Should Prepare For

College graduates preparing to interview for entry level jobs should prepare for these seven challenging questions in the following post.

You just got the call… you have a job interview! The hiring manager obviously thinks you could be a good fit for the position and the company; they want to meet and learn more about you, your qualifications and your career goals. Now comes the time to prepare! And there is no better

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Posted April 01, 2014 by

No Response When Emailing Your Resume for an Entry Level Job? 4 Reasons Why

So, you haven’t received any response when emailing your resume to apply for an entry level job.  The following post has four reasons why your resume may not be getting one.

If your resume delivery process is completely flawed, no one is going to read that shining gem of a resume in the first place. It’s like having a really great idea, but telling nobody about it, and then some other schmoe makes a million dollars because he knows a thing or two about basic

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