TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 7, 2004
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Getting your foot in the door

By Amy Bowman
Staff Reporter


If the search for an internship were a television sit-com, the theme music might be “Getting to Know You.”

That’s because the decision a company makes is based on more than just a resume or even a face-to-face interview.

“Seventy percent of the interview happens before an applicant even goes into the room,” says Bill Stowe of Career Services.

And that’s why besides resume and cover letter critique, Career Services also offers mock interviews where students are interviewed, filmed, critiqued and told how to improve.

But even before that practice comes basic decision-making about internship possibilities. They include:
•Finding the perfect internship whether it’s in state, out of state or out of the country.
•Preparing the perfect resume and awesome portfolio and planning to nail the interview.
•Planning how to use the internship to your benefit by gaining a clear understanding of your industry.

There are many sources of information about internships. One is searching the Internet or newspaper classified ads to find opportunities in Fort Worth and the surrounding cities, out of state or even out of the country.

And there is word of mouth. When you hear someone bragging about their internship, ask them about it. There might be another opening in the company.

Professors and advisers in your department may keep lists of employers favorable to TCU students.

Ricky Garnett, who graduated in December with a geology major, has been keeping in contact with people he knows in the business, he said. His advisor helped him get a temperary job in January but said he has been posting his resume.

“Persistence is the key,” Garnett said.

Stowe notes that Career Services has job and internship opportunities listed on its webpage and also maintains several books of internships offered in different geographical areas around the country.

Christe Anderson has an internship in the marketing department of Texas Bank, she said. Before graduating in May, she took it upon herself to get her name out there. Anderson said she attended TCU career fairs and searching online databases like Monster.com.

One of the most important parts of the job search process is networking with people, she said. They keep her updated about openings, she said.

Many websites offer good advice and are an alternative to using the career services.

Findyourspot.com offers a quiz based on weather, activities, finances and other preferences to match you with the perfect city. Once you find the city that matches you with your interests, see how it corresponds with job availability.

Forbes.com
offers its list of the Top 10 places for businesses and careers as well as housing costs, attractiveness of the city and net migration.

Besides ranking first for places to live in 2003, Austin also ranked first for best places for singles according to Forbes.com.Next comes the resume and cover letter.

Stowe said a student should stick to a single page resume unless he or she has done numerous outstanding jobs relevant to the job being sought.

Put the most important information first, and be aware that as you get older, high school information, such as head cheerleader, should be left out, Stowe said.

An employer is going to look at all aspects of a resume and that means that listing skills, whether they are communication, technical, or people skills, is the most important, Stowe said.

Online application is OK in this developing technological age, Stowe said, but students also should send the prospective employer a hard copy of the resume and the cover letter. That personalizes the application.

“Companies hire people, not resumes,” Stowe said.A secret weapon is to provide the internship employer with a professional portfolio.

The experts of Internweb.com say portfolios aren’t just for “creative” jobs like advertising and designers.

Portfolios might also include letters of recommendations, information about scholarships and details of awards. That information gives employers a chance to see the applicant in a more personable way, study his or her achievements and evaluate the applicant’s potential as an employee, the webpage said.

Once you get the call back, the employer will most likely ask you to come in for an interview.

Stowe said the main mistake students make in an interview is not planning ahead and anticipating potentially asked questions. Students also need to be able to tell the employer what they have to offer to the company.

Anderson said she has learned time management, organizational, interpersonal and public relation skills that she’ll be able to brag about during an interview.

That’s where Career Services’ interview practice comes in handy.

Once the internship is secured, it is up to the student to make the most of it.

Stowe said it is vital for students to attend community and professional meetings as an excellent form of networking.

The goal is to not only find people who are good for you, but people you can help as well. Collect business cards and keep track of the people you meet.

And if you do all of that, and the employer really does get to know you, sometimes these internships turn in to after-college job offers. At the minimum, they make good entries on the resume for the next time.
Job interview
Sarah Chacko/photo editor
Students can set up interviews with potential employers on campus through Career Services.
The Perfect Internship
To find the perfect city for your visit:
www.findyourspot.com

To find the perfect internship visit:
• TCU Career Services
• Internet
www.internabroad.com
• Word of Mouth

Top 10 Cities for Singles (www.Forbes.com):
1. Austin
2. Denver-Boulder
3. Boston
4. Washington-Baltimore
5. Atlanta
6. San Francisco-Oakland
7. Los Angeles
8. New York
9. Raleigh-Durham
10. Fort Worth-Dallas

Best Places for Business and Careers (www.Forbes.com)
1. Austin, Texas
2. Boise, Idaho
3. Raleigh-Durham, N. C.
4. Atlanta, Ga.
5. Madison, Wis.
6. Provo, Utah
7. Omaha, Neb.
8. Des Moines, Iowa
9. Dallas, Texas
10. Washington, D.C.-Northern Va.
 
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