Students Everywhere are Feeling the Job Pressure

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My June 24 article (Internships 101) touched on the fact that internships are imperative for any college students who wants to gain experience while learning on the job. I also suggested that recent college graduates should not shy away from taking internships (even unpaid ones) in their field. I have seen many people graduate from college and assume that internships can no longer serve them – this is simply not the case. While you are out working in your field, countless others are job searching or taking part-time jobs in retail or food services. Anyone who has experienced the economic sluggishness will tell you to get out there and think outside of the box. If you are taking an unpaid internship, work nights at a local restaurant. When you’re young, you have to prove yourself. It’s just a part of life.

I was happy to read an article in USA Today by Stephanie Steinberg that echoes my sentiments. Steinberg is currently the paper’s summer intern. In her July 27 article, “All Work, No Pay for Some” she discusses college students working for free (read – college credit) during the summer. She also talks about the importance of internships in almost every industry across the country. I know personally that communications majors should experience diverse internships and I encourage everyone to explore interning in a large corporation, a start-up company and a non-profit organization. By doing so, you will understand the key differences and similarities and understand what type of company best suits you.

Steinberg talks about several students who are interning for college credit and are not getting paid. This is common practice among higher education but it’s costly – the student needs to pay for credit and then, most likely, apply for part-time work to pay bills. Many parents think this is ridiculous (you’re paying to work?), but it is necessary. I was pleased that the college students interviewed in the article agree. They understand (or have learned from their professors) that companies are looking for an experienced entry-level candidate.

As the summer is winding down, many students will be heading back to school and won’t think about summer internships again until the spring semester. I encourage everyone to plan ahead, apply early and learn as much as you can along the way.

By: Amy Muldoon

Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school at Holy Family University to become a secondary English teacher. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications.

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