Hey everyone! School has gotten pretty crazy since the last time I posted. Midterms are here which means long nights at Leavey Library, lots and lots of flashcards, exam reviews, and multiple Starbucks runs (we have a 24 hour Starbucks right on campus!) This Saturday, October 3rd, was also my 20th birthday! I woke up to a dozen and a half Sprinkles cupcakes delivered to my apartment (thanks to Mama Jarvis and my roommate Monica). I spent the rest of the day at the beach and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Overall, it was an awesome birthday, and I am now ready to prep for the Viterbi Career Fair this Wednesday.
Landing an internship or job is a challenge every college student must take on, especially those in engineering. As of right now I have not had any BME internships, and I spent this past summer working in a research lab here at USC. I did, however, go through the whole process of going to the career fairs last year and talking to recruiters. You learn a lot about this whole process in your first year here at SC, and there are a few key aspects to searching for these opportunities.
The biggest pointer I have for anyone starting off searching for internships is to use your resources. Last year as a freshman, I did not really know what to expect for the career fair. I didn’t even know if I should go considering I had only been exposed to BME for half a semester. After talking to my Freshmen Academy Coaches, they told me that it is important to go just to see how everything works and to get my name out there. You never know what recruiters are looking for, and you might be the perfect fit. This year I am involved with VSAMP (Viterbi Student-Alumni Mentor Program), where my mentor and I meet every few weeks to discuss my career goals. I got paired up with an alumni working for a global healthcare company specifying in the fields of transfusions and laboratory analysis. My mentor has helped me immensely with the internship process by telling me about her stories and experiences, as well as sending me companies that she thinks will fit what I am looking for career wise. She has also reviewed my resume to get it looking great for recruiters and the career fair this week. Viterbi has a ton of events for students to network with companies. ASBME and SWE both have cooperate dinners with people in the industry, and most weeks there are information sessions where professionals come to talk about their work. Utilizing these resources will help immensely when searching for that perfect internship.
Making sure your resume is professional and effective is super important. Your resume is one of the first thing recruiters see, so you want it to showcase your strengths and interests. Last year I had my Academy Coach (and fellow VSA) Alex review my resume, and this year my mentor has helped me out. The best tip I have learned is to know where your resume is going. Put clubs, organizations, and experiences that relate to the position you are applying for rather than filling it up with everything you have done in college so far.
Dress to impress. Presenting yourself in a professional way is extremely important when speaking to recruiters. Know what kind of dress is expected. Is it business casual, business professional, or just plain casual? Most of the time you’re safe with a nice shirt or blouse, slacks, and dress shoes (heels or flats for the ladies out there).
Applying to companies attending the career fair online beforehand is also something that can do to put yourself a step ahead of others. Most of the time recruiters will take your resume and say “make sure to apply online as well, ” and when you can say that you have already done this, you look like you genuinely have an interest in the company and are very prepared.
It is kind of an overwhelming process looking for internships, but with the right preparation, success is bound to come your way.
Thanks for reading, hopefully I will have some luck with my internship search for next summer! Good luck and always remember to keep fighting on!Meet Bethany