Spanish and International Affairs, Dual Major
Health Management and Policy, Minor
College of Liberal Arts, Class of 2013
Intern at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Summer 2012
What would you tell your peers they need to do to find a great internship?
In today’s world, you need to have “work experience” in order to get a job, but how are you supposed to get work experience when everybody who is hiring is looking for candidates who already have work experience? The key is simple: get an internship. An internship helps you gain the experience that is necessary to land a job after graduation. At UNH there are so many resources that exist to help students get an internship, including a great career center, complete with amazing staff, right in Hood House! The career center helps students with all the confusion and stress that comes along with job searching. The career center not only lists postings of internships and job opportunities on their website, they also have talented staff that work directly with students to help them perfect their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills. With the help of the career center, I perfected my resume, polished up my cover letter and got an interview - I had an internship for the summer before second semester even began! Networking is also extremely important. Be confident and show your enthusiasm. Companies want to hire employees who want to be there.
What did you learn from your internship search that you will apply in future job searches?
During my internship search, I learned that presentation and attitude are critical. Before you apply for a job or speak to a recruiter, make sure that you have researched the company. If somebody asks you why you want to work for their company and all you say is “I need experience” then you are not showing how you would be an important asset to them. Discuss specifics of the company that are particularly interesting to you and ask questions! Every person you meet at a career fair or throughout college can also be a potential networking connection, so utilize every chance you get!
What skills are you using and/or learning at your internship that you can use in entry-level jobs?
I completed a summer internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. After attending the UNH Fall Career Fair, I was drawn to the opportunities and good reputation that this internship offered. I learned many things that will help me through the beginning of my post-college career. Not only did I learn basic business practices such as customer service and proper phone etiquette, I also learned skills that most students never realize they are going to need, including how to present and conduct myself as a professional at all times and work effectively with customers and my team. My internship experience is helping me develop these well-rounded professional skills before I even graduate from college.
What is one highlight from your internship experience?
One of the highlights from my summer internship was when I was given the opportunity to travel to Woburn, Massachusetts for a few days to attend a training session. While a large part of the training focused on customer service and computer programs, all of the interns were also taught how the business actually functioned. We learned about the founding of the company, as well as the corporate infrastructure. Basically, they taught all of us how to run a successful business. For students that never had been given the chance to work in a professional setting, this knowledge will give us an advantage when we apply for full-time jobs.
What is the most valuable part of your internship experience?
The most valuable part of my internship experience was the opportunity to work in a professional setting with many talented coworkers. The chance to find work experience with a very successful company was a great first step for me into the professional world. I have learned so much this summer—from how to properly pair a blazer with dress pants to how to deal with an unsatisfied customer. Internships are really the best way to get your foot in the door and help you compete for job opportunities after UNH.
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