MapQuesting Life

Laura Kirchner

Villanova students should be thankful; we have many resources and people to help guide us along this journey. Career Services not only has pamphlets for just about every career, they also have multitudes of workshops and helpful counselors that can help lead you in the right direction.

Many have heard of GoNova and used its services, but there are also many who are quite clueless when it comes to using this great resource. GoNova is Villanova’s own personal – except ‘Nova students are the only ones that can access jobs and internships targeting students and alumni. With many specific contacts listed and detailed job and internship information, students have hundreds of options at their fingertips.

The large number of opportunities can be overwhelming, however, even though the career world has been condensed to target the Villanova community. Specific search options are available, but Career Services recommends you think about a few things when it comes to choosing the most productive and prosperous way spend your summer.

First, take a look inside yourself. What are your interests? What is going to make you happy? What are you best at? Where will you thrive? What could you offer an organization? These are very important questions to ask yourself, for this could possibly be a job that will lend itself to a full-blown career and you want to enjoy what you are spending around 2,000 hours per year of your life doing – right?

Think of an internship as a trial run of a potential career. Many ideas of what a certain job entails can be much different once you experience the job first hand. Seeing what a job is truly like is beneficial in the long run. You may be able to eliminate an entire field after three months, making your career search that much easier.

Second, compose a résumé. This should be a one-page summary of your job experience, education and career goals and a list of qualifications that shows your suitability for a job. Send your résumé in response to a job listing or to a company for whom you’d like to work, along with a cover letter that explains your career goals.

Basics aside, remember your résumé is your life accomplishments on a sheet of paper. Make your résumé clear and concise, only including what you think is most important in association with a college internship. It’s always best to have as many people as possible review your résumé before sending it, so an appointment with Career Services is always good for the best advice about any corrections that may be needed.

Third, devote time to your internship search. Treat the search as a sixth class, and give yourself time for research and preparation.

Fourth, network, network, network. Networking can be as beneficial, if not more so, than an online job search engine. You’d be surprised just mentioning your internship plan to professors, friends and family can spark many contacts of which you were completely unaware. For all you know, your sorority sister’s best friend’s father could own the corporation with whom you’re looking to intern. Believe it!

Also, attending career fairs and informational gatherings about particular careers or even hearing speakers from different fields can be a great way to meet and network with those with whom you would like to work, or simply ask if they know anyone in your field of interest.

When it comes to one of the final steps – applying for positions – it is vital to show great interest in the positions you truly want. A follow up call or email is crucial if you want to rise just a little above the rest, since many applications can get lost in the shuffle.