Internships propel students to successful careers

When students enroll in college, 80% list finding a career as a motivator for attending, but after arriving on campus only 35% have the confidence to apply for a job and perform the required skills.

As the summer approaches, students are applying for internships that will give them the experience they need to boost their network, build skill sets and find a career that is right for them.

A preview of the future

While gaining experience in a certain field, internships create an opportunity to discover what professionals encounter daily and set up long-term career goals. TU’s Center for Career Development and Professional Engagement is helping students identify what internship options can help them succeed after college.

In fall of 2019, the center reports more than 750 students attended TU career fairs and career coaches conducted over 545 individual counseling appointments.

Career coaches mentor students in:
• Career and majors exploration
• Building tools such as resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills
• Gaining practical experience
• Building their network

“It’s huge for students to receive internships while in school. It allows them to perfect their social skills, build their resume, gain hands-on learning in the field they’re interested in and create relationships,” said Christy Caves, executive director of the center of career development and professional engagement.

Through workshops, mock interviews and networking events, career coaches have noticed an increase in students’ confidence as well their ability to get a job and perform its required tasks.

Internships allow employers to invest in the students who know their company or organization and consider them for a postgraduate position.

On-campus opportunities

The Center of Career Development and Professional Engagement hosts events, workshops and coaching appointments to prepare students for resume building, interviews and workplace cultures.

One of these events is TU’s annual etiquette dinner that brings together students, alumni and employers to network and learn significant rules and manners to practice during an interview that involves a meal. Janet Christian, president of the Oklahoma School of Etiquette, conducted hands-on training on how to pass the breadbasket, which utensils to use for what courses and how to properly lay a napkin.

“This was a chance for students to polish up their professional skills to stand out to employers, to network, have a comfortable conversation and be able to ask questions without judgment,” Caves said.

The TU career fair is a chance for students to connect with local businesses and organizations and a chance to show off their resume for a potential internship and job opportunities. Last month’s spring career fair more than 98 recruiting partners attended.

Employment resources

TU’s career coaches guide students in creating and improving their resume to best display skills, experience and accomplishments. Even after students turn their tassels at graduation, the Center of Career Development and Professional Engagement is available to help for free; alumni have full access to the office and to Handshake, TU’s job posting management site.