Landing your first internship may seem baffling, but a little confidence and self-promotion go a long way. Even during your first semester at USC, you will have access to opportunities like the general career fair and the Viterbi School of Engineering Career Fair (During the Engineering Career Week) both in the Fall. These two events are fantastic methods for networking and are great ways to secure potential internships with a wide array of companies, both big and small. Odds are you’ll find some large companies that you’ve heard of, and some that you were surprised ever needed engineers!
The biggest advice that I can give any student when attending one of these career fairs is to be confident in yourself and your abilities, and market those abilities clearly and concisely to the recruiter from whichever company interests you. Don’t disregard companies you weren’t originally considering either; they may have some interesting programs that you wouldn’t know about otherwise!
Another great tip is to bring a polished resume that is one page in length. Fortunately for all Freshman, the Engineering Freshman Academy class will provide you with a Professor and two Academy Coaches whose sole purpose is to introduce you to the Viterbi school and insure that you are ready to be successful in the classroom and in the search for an internship! Personally, I owe a large deal of my internship with Boeing to the two coaches who supported me and reviewed my resume multiple times so that I presented my skills and myself in a clear manner. I’ll be in Seattle, WA this summer thanks to their help.
Never have any doubt in yourself or your abilities, and you’ll do fine!
Fight On from Seattle(and the skies above)!