BY Jackie Clifford
The Center for Career and Professional Development encourages college students to take part in internships at one point or another during their college experience.
“I believe it is important for students to take part in internships because it gives them real experiences. It’s a great way to really find out if you love or hate a type of field you are studying and can be eye opening before you graduate college and enter the real world and realize it’s too late to change tracks,” said senior Kayla Kanakry.
Kanakry has had five internship experiences that all have been beneficial in the learning process of her college career. From doing all of these internships, Kanakry was able to learn exactly what she wanted to do for a career post-graduation.
“These internships are a great way to network, challenge yourself, work with people in the industry and get feedback to incorporate in your studies,” said Kanakry.
Taking advantage of the Center for Career and Professional Development at some point during their four years is recommended for Sacred Heart University students. The department sends out daily emails that include information about internship opportunities and about all of the different career events they offer on campus.
Keith Hassle, the Executive Director of the Center of Careers and Professional Development, has only been working at Sacred Heart University for about four months and he has already seen how much the office has had a positive impact on students.
“If there are two people who are applying for a job and one of them has an internship and the other one doesn’t, almost automatically, the one with the internship will get the job,” said Hassle.
Hassle recommends all students to create an account on Handshake which is the most popular and user-friendly website for students and recent graduates to use when finding an internship or job. He also recommends that students start the application process early and that they have strong resumes and cover letters on hand.
“Be prepared and make sure you have your resume and cover letter put together. If you don’t have a strong resume, it’s actually going to be working against you as opposed to for you,” said Hassle.
Students who actively use the Center for Career and Professional Development see the effects that using the department has on their professional skills.
“The Center for Career and Professional Development also aided me in enhancing my resume and preparing for interviews which helped me create a solid professional foundation that has launched my career,” said senior Lauren Lyver.
The Center for Career and Professional Development is a place for students to receive tools on how to apply for internships, how to walk into an interview confidently and to learn what career path is right for them. Internships are not only for students to gain experience but is also a way for students to confirm what they want to pursue for a career.
“When I came to SHU, I had no clue what I wanted to do. Through several meetings with the Career Development staff and attending Career Development sponsored networking and speaker events, I was able to learn more about my major and other opportunities in business and network with many professionals,” said Lyver.
Hassle reminds students that every experience is a lesson and will give you transferable skills that you will use in your future career. He also reminds students to stay positive and optimistic while going through the internship process.
“I heard a quote on the radio, ‘Every time that you are being rejected, you are just being rejected.’ I thought that was so powerful because with the job market, there is so much competition, you are going to get a rejection letter, but don’t get discouraged because chances are, that wasn’t the right opportunity and the right one is down the road,” said Hassle.