Tips for Job and Internship Hunters:
1. Finding an internship
Ask any professional or upperclassmen about the importance of landing an internship during your college career and they’ll tell you that these days having internship experience is imperative. In order to succeed in your job/internship hunt utilize your professors. Many of them are more connected to the community than you realize, and most of them would love to help you get better connected to potential employers and influential community leaders. You can also check out Career Services for resume and cover letter tips, career advising, as well as for the latest internship postings. Don’t be afraid to go out to networking events, prowl the internet for opportunities, and don’t forget to check out our postings!
2. Get involved!
UT has tons of on-campus organization, and most of them could use motivated leaders. Consider joining the Advertising Club, Spotlight PR, UT’s Film Society (the hosts of the Black Box Film Festival) and other communications organizations on campus. Make sure you meet and become familiar with the faculty advisers for these clubs, and see if they have any off campus suggestions. Plenty of local organizations offer valuable networking opportunities, mentoring programs and even job listings. You might meet your future boss!
3. Stay informed
Whether you subscribe to various industry publications, pick up the Minaret on your way to class, browse Twitter or Facebook, or even listen to NPR online, make sure you’re up to date on what’s happening around the world. This not only allows you to keep up with industry trends, but it also provides a good list of topics during interviews, casual networking chatter and vital conversation pieces with influential professors.
4. Attend events
The Film Society holds special events and lectures open to the general public. These events typically happen at least once a month and allow you to hear from influential speakers and industry leaders. Also, Honors Symposiums are great for meeting local leaders, national thought leaders and many professionals throughout the Tampa Bay area. Bonus? Most professors will offer extra credit for attending!
5. Have some fun!
So much of your college experience comes from what you experience outside of the classroom. Take the time to explore Tampa and all the surrounding areas, form everlasting friendships, and discover your passions (trust me, you’ll discover a new passion about 3 times a month!). Try to do something out of the ordinary as much as possible – don’t be afraid to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. UT, USF and Tampa Bay alike provide so many opportunities for self-discovery, so take advantage of it. Always check the flyers in your residence hall, subscribe to local organization’s email lists, and get out on the town for Tampa’s celebrations (Guavaween, Gasparilla, Knight’s Parade?!).
6. Engage your networking contacts
During boom times, it might be okay to rely on phone conversations and e-mails with networking contacts and recruiters. But right now, it’s imperative you stand out. As soon as you meet someone, get a business card, or leave an event, you need to Google! Find their LinkedIn page, send them a message recapping your meeting and let them know you’d like to grab a coffee or get together again and continue your discussion. If they’re on Twitter or have a blog, follow them! Make sure to engage, reply to interesting tweets, comment and share their blog posts, making an impression is something you need to continue doing. Before you know it you’ll be at coffee with the president of that marketing firm everyone wants to work for!
7. Try to be as flexible as you can
With so much uncertainty in the air, employers may not be jumping to offer you a full-time job at the salary you have in mind. Instead, they might propose contract or project work, bringing you on-board part time, or hiring you full time at less than what you were hoping to earn. If you can possibly afford to, at least for a few months, accept what they’re offering, especially if it’s at a company where you see growth and the potential for bigger opportunities later. Once you have a foot in the door, wow them!
8. Consider relocating for a job
Job candidates who are willing to move are in even shorter supply than usual these days, but being open to the idea of moving improves your chances for success. The more places you’re willing to move to, the more job prospects you’re opening yourself to.
9. Scour the hidden job market
Dig deeper into uncovering unadvertised openings through networking, and by contacting potential employers directly. Whenever possible, register on companies’ web sites to receive e-mail updates about new openings that fit your experience and skills. And don’t forget to talk to board members in organizations you’re involved with, and speaking with professors and mentors you’re close with. Letting others know you’re looking keeps you on their minds, and might mean the difference between barista and web developer!
10. Take advantage of social networking sites
If you aren’t already using web sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress to re-connect with old acquaintances and make new ones, this would be a good time to start.
As the name “social networking” implies, these sites aren’t designed primarily to help people develop professional contacts (except for LinkedIn, which is the most business-oriented of the bunch) but as communication students, graduates and budding pioneers, you need to dive head first into the new age of marketing and branding, learn all you can from those industry leaders you stalk, and make sure to sound engaged and excited about where the industry, and ultimately your career, is headed.