By guest blogger Bethany Van Lingen
Want to move out of your parents’ basement one day and get a real job? Then you had better start getting ready now.
“Students are far more successful in getting a job if they’ve had an internship and have gotten some experience in their field. That’s what employers are looking for: experience,” says Rebecca Robinson, a counsellor at Ryerson’s Career Development and Employment Centre.
But no one’s going to hand you an job. Here are some tips to help you find and land the internship of your dreams.
There’s no reason to wait until third or fourth-year to begin thinking about internships.
“Start looking right away in your first year. It’s more difficult to get internships as a first year but at least you’ll get an idea of what you’re looking for,” says Robinson.
Check out your options
“Go to job fairs, even if they’re for graduates, and ask the employers if they have anything available for first or second-year students. Contact your dream company and try to talk to the person with the most authority.” says Robinson.
“You have to make it clear how you are going to benefit the employer because they don’t always see it. At minimum wage, it’s cheap labour for them and great experience for you. In an older industry, you may bring new knowledge or emphasize your enthusiasm and work ethic,” says Robinson.
Keep your eyes open
You don’t have to look far for work experience. Opportunities for internships are available right here at Ryerson.
Lou Romero, a second-year Radio and Television Arts student, has been able to gain experience in her field through Ryerson’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) program.
“SIFE helps me network like crazy. It makes me a more rounded individual. It’s a world-renowned organization and that gives you a lot of credit,” says Romero.
Take the initiative
Amberlea Bruch, a second-year business student, got an internship with Euphonic Sounds, a small music company, after doing her own research and emailing music companies in Toronto.
“I needed experience in the music industry and I couldn’t get that from my program. I needed something to build off of. This was part of my game plan,” says Bruch.
Jump the border
You don’t have to stick to Canada when thinking about internships.
“When employers see that you have international experience, they think that you are self-reliant, mature, and that you have probably developed good communication skills,” says Robinson.
If you’re having trouble finding an internship or don’t know where to start, you can book an appointment with a counsellor at the Career Centre.