For some, finding summer employment is just a way to pay the bills but for others it’s an opportunity to gain experience in their field of study.
Nathan DeLong, a second-year student majoring in journalism, will be spending his summer interning with the Bugle Observer, his hometown newspaper, for the third consecutive year. He began interning right out of high school through a co-op program.
“To work in the newsroom, it taught me a lot. I’ve learned a lot more on the job than anywhere else,” said DeLong.
If you have yet to be accepted as a summer intern or find any employment in your field, there’s no need to be too alarmed. All hope is not yet lost.
STU offers resources to students throughout the year to help them find employment and internships, including workshops to help write targeted cover letters and résumés.
The STU website is a good place to start a search. There is a posting board where summer positions are listed and still accepting applications until mid-April. Many offer field-related experience and are suited for students with specific majors.
Trish Murray-Zelmer, STU’s co-ordinator for student employment, suggests that students start preparing for summer employment opportunities early in the winter semester. She offered two student employment workshops in February, but she’s happy to share information with students who are only getting started in the process now.
“Employers are really looking for students to make the most out of their summers,” said Murray-Zelmer. “If that’s not possible, and sometimes you just need to get a summer job to make money, that’s fine. In the fall I offer workshops to best communicate those experiences.”
Murray-Zelmer also suggests networking to find employment. She says it’s not too late to get in touch with the human resource contacts for each department and to see if there are positions open for the summer. Asking your friends or professors if they know of any opportunities is also a good way to start.
“Spend a little more time connecting with people instead of going on the job bank. Although that stuff is useful, it shouldn’t be what the majority of people are spending their time on,” said Murray-Zelmer.
Kerstin Schlote will be graduating this year and majors in journalism, communications and French. Through last year’s Liberal Arts Advantage program for third-year students, she obtained an internship with the communications and marketing team at NB Power and has been working with them ever since.
She’s gained experience writing internal communications, such as newsletters, and participating in community outreach events, such as moderating at the Talk Energy speakers’ series at UNB this year.
“I think it’s never too late,” said Schlote. “Even if you don’t get your dream job this summer, find a volunteer place where you gain skills, experience and contacts. You can put that on your résumé for next year and it shows you take initiative.”
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