UCS Career Blog

“When Should I Start Applying for a Job or Internship?” And Other Important Issues

Laura Craig
January 11th, 2013

If you are asking yourself this question, you’re not alone.  UCS increasingly hears this question, or some variant, from students searching for jobs and internships.  Seeking an opportunity for this summer and beyond? Now is a great time to get started. Some organizations complete their recruiting in the fall semester, but there are still numerous opportunities available through CAVLink, other tools offered through MyUCS, and through career fairs.

Before you rush out to start applying, these three steps will help you build a strong foundation:

  1. Research and explore career ideas: You know that you want to find an internship or job – excellent! That motivation can get overwhelming if you don’t anchor it to prospective ideas.  Some career ideas might be: “I would like to intern for a company in Richmond,” or “I want to work with children in a future job,” or “I want to use my foreign language skills in my career.”  The key point is to develop plausible ideas, and then to test them out.  UCS offers a wealth of resources to help you explore careers.  One of the best is our Career Conference, and some of our other resources include Career Exploration Workshops for 1st and 2nd year students, visiting our library, (available daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), and attending our peer led Essential Tours on a variety of career topics.  You can also make an appointment with a counselor by calling (434) 924-8900.
  2. Identify interesting opportunities: As you embark on research and exploration, stay attuned to which information excites or disinterests you about potential career fields.  When you come across relevant information, document it in a way that works for you, because it is easy to get overwhelmed by choices.  Many of our online tools offer ways for you to save and organize interesting jobs and employers, such as CAVLink, CareerShift (accessible through CAVLink), and Vault Career Insider (accessible through MyUCS). This will be extremely helpful when an employer calls and wants to talk to you about “our internship”, and you do not remember why you were interested in the opportunity!
  3. Prepare your complete professional presentation: Creating a tailored resume and cover letter is a major part of applying for jobs and internships. In the bigger picture of professionalism those documents are a small part of your complete professional presentation. Interview practice, managing your online presence, company research, building relationships, and refining professional dress are all important professional development tasks. While these ideas may not seem to be as urgent as creating an effective resume, they often make the difference and show that you can be taken seriously.  UCS can offer you advice on all of these areas through individual advising, and our print/online resources.  Contact us at (434) 924-8900 to make an appointment.

Good luck this semester!  We look forward to seeing you in our office, at our programs, at our career fairs, and around Grounds.