Tate: Internship offices offer little help

Ashley Lockard

Being a junior, a major concern of mine this year has been finding a summer internship. I knew that finding a good internship would be difficult, but I never guessed that the search would be one of the most stressful and frustrating ordeals of my entire college career. And what is completely ironic is that my stress and aggravation was never the fault of the employers, but rather of Villanova itself.

I began my job search back in November. I know that many internships have early deadlines, and I did not want to miss any of them. I knew that the University had a Career Services office, so I made an appointment with them. The commencement of my complaints begins here.

I met with a counselor who told me to put together a resume. I quickly put one together and made an appointment the following week. At that meeting, I was told that it was way too early to begin applying for jobs and that I should wait until the middle of second semester. This second meeting left me extremely disgruntled. While I did not know much about applying for internships, I knew that waiting until February was too late.

My next place of consultation was the Liberal Arts internship office. I figured if Career Services could not help me, the internship office would be able to. Unfortunately, that office just augmented my already existing frustrations. There, I was told that if I wanted them to even help me find an internship, I would have to complete a written application to receive credit for my internship. They could not help me until my application had been processed and accepted.

First off, I already have more than enough credits for my major, so I did not want academic credit for my internship. Secondly, in order to get credit for an internship, it has to be non-paying. So, not only would I have to work for free, but then I would have to pay Villanova for the credit. I have no problem with having to pay for the credit hours, but the requirement of the internship being non-paying seems ridiculous to me. To give the internship office some credit, they did let me sneak a peek at their binders, which held numerous job listings. Unfortunately, though, most of the job listings were from years past with contact names and numbers that have since changed.

Out of options, I sat down and started calling employers myself. Numerous places would never let me talk to an actual person, but rather forced me to listen to a pre-recorded tape telling me to send my cover letter and resume to their human resources department and if interested, they would contact me. I did manage to talk to people at a few corporations, and together with a fellow English major, compiled a fairly large list of potential places of employment. Fortunately, both my advisor and another faculty member were extremely helpful and somewhat made up for the lack of assistance by both Career Services and the internship office.

The most unfortunate part of this whole ordeal is that numerous students are forced to endure the same run around as I. Ironically, the offices that are supposed to assist students provide no assistance, or what assistance that they do provide is completely inadequate. It is unfortunate that Villanova has great educators, but radically poor on-campus resources. If students earn exceptional jobs, it is a reflection not only on Villanova, but upon those offices as well. I guess these offices do not realize it and, rather, enjoy thwarting students. Students should become frustrated at employers, not the offices that claim to provide help. If these offices are going to provide the same amount of assistance that I received, what’s the point in having them?