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The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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Internship expo, tips and tricks for finding an internship

Rian Hughes

App State hosted its spring semester Internship Expo Wednesday, allowing attendees to network with potential employers and start the process of applying for an internship.

Laura Pell, associate director for employer relations and marketing for the Career Development Center, was in attendance at the event. She said employers from all across the country attend the event to find interns.

“It’s really exciting to see students and employers coming together to meet a shared need,” she said. “It’s really, really fun and very rewarding.”

She advised students to be open to exploration during the expo and to network with different employers.

A local employer present at the expo was Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, who were searching for a communications/social media/web design intern. 

Cathay Barker, Vice President of Business Development, said the chamber’s previous experience of working with App State students encouraged them to attend the event.

“It was really intriguing to get that perspective from a younger person that doesn’t live in our world and our community,” she said. “We have a great resource right here with students who have bright and brilliant minds.”

June Taylor, a senior recruiter with Blythe Construction, said the company decided to attend the expo because App State has a large volume of students from the Charlotte and Raleigh areas where the company currently is carrying out projects and operations. 

Taylor said the company was successful in hiring interns from last school year and attended again to find more interns interested in full-time positions.

Rian Hughes

The company is looking to hire students from many different areas of study, not just construction, Taylor said.

“The education really lends itself to all the positions we may potentially have,” she said.

App State requires internships for some areas of study and has dedicated faculty members to assist students in their search for internships.

Les Miller is the associate director of student employment and internships in the Career Development Center. He said internships allow students to gain work experience while still in school, offer the possibility of earning academic credit and teach certain skills outside of the classroom.

Miller said students can apply what they are learning from the classroom to their internship and use the knowledge gained from their internship back in the classroom.

“There’s like a reciprocity,” he said.

Another benefit of internships, Miller said, is that they allow students to gain first-hand experience in their field without a full-time commitment to a job.

“You’re testing the waters,” he said.

Miller said “a good percentage” of students receive job offers as a direct result of internships.

Although the internship expo is over, there are still ways for students to land internships.

To start the process of locating an internship, Miller suggests students search on Handshake, where they can create a profile employers can view and reach out to students who meet their job criteria. Miller also suggests pre-registering for internship events held by the Career Development Center so employers attending can reach out to students via Handshake and request to meet at the event.

Another resource the Career Development Center offers is meetings with career coaches, who can help students navigate the process of securing an internship.

Miller said career coaches have access to a database called the internship inventory, where they can look up past internships students have participated in and suggest certain jobs that match with the student’s area of focus.

Miller said he’s seen a wide variety of internship opportunities, with some of the most “unique” being through the Disney College Program, which allows students to intern on-site at Disney, Google, NASA, the FBI and the Secret Service.

He also said many internships come from smaller, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

To begin the process of applying for an internship for academic credit, Miller said each department has designated internship coordinators who can help students through the process.

The associate director recommends students thinking about applying for an internship for the upcoming summer or fall semesters to reach out sooner rather than later because it can take some time for the proper paperwork to be processed, which needs to be completed prior to registration in April.

“You need to start thinking now,” Miller said.

Students must have at least 30 credit hours and be a junior to partake in an internship, but Miller encourages freshmen and sophomores to attend internship expos and start networking now.

“This is the best time because you don’t have any pressure,” he said.

The Career Development Center has another upcoming internship and job fair scheduled for March 6 in the Holmes Convocation Center from 12-3 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register and bring copies of their resume.

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About the Contributors
Madalyn Edwards
Madalyn Edwards, Associate News Editor
Madalyn Edwards (she/her) is a junior English major from Mount Airy, NC. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Rian Hughes
Rian Hughes, Associate Graphics Editor
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