Accept help with your internship process

Zach Blair

With the concluding school year and the breath of spring running through everyone’s nose, the scary reality of planning what comes next is imminent. For a lot of Augustana students, that includes thinking about taking internships. 

It’s scary, too, because for most people, searching for internships is a first-time endeavor. In that case, I think it’s perfectly valid for prospective interns to feel intimidated by the wide web of information out there. That abundant information shouldn’t be scary – I believe that it makes life a lot easier. 

But with accessible technology and information at our fingertips and a vast sea of different sites that present different opportunities and possibilities, searching for said internships is certainly not easy, even daunting to simply ponder. 

Even though I may be a first-year, I myself am seeking to take advantage of websites like Handshake and Indeed in the hopes of finding an internship for this summer. 

What’s so difficult about it all is that it’s not merely scrolling through various listings on any site and selecting whichever one pleases our eager spirits. Though our eyes may be hungry looking for the best options, there’s still a plethora of factors that we, students, must take into consideration. 

Some of those things include the usual disadvantages that come along with the presence of the internet, like scams and the potential for one’s personal information winding up in the wrong hands. 

However, according to Bobbie Tidball, assistant director of internships at CORE, Handshake is absolutely credible and should be utilized by students as much as possible, especially in these times where more and more internships are being posted to the site each day. 

“The vast majority of internships posted to Handshake are legitimate opportunities for students. It’s still a good idea to do your own research on each job or internship you apply for, because, as in other areas of life, scammers are evolving to try to circumvent screening processes. Internship scams on Handshake are rare, but they can happen,” Tidball said. 

A recurring worry for me is that I may be using sites like Handshake incorrectly. And I think there are certainly others on campus that can attest or relate to this anxiety. After all, we’re all young college kids, so these feelings are wholly valid. 

“I wouldn’t say there’s an incorrect way to use Handshake. There are definitely ways to maximize the effectiveness of Handshake, though,” Tidball said. 

And there are so many interesting ways to make your profile on sites like Handshake more appealing to companies that are looking for intelligent individuals as invaluable interns. Moreover, making your profile more professional could present legitimate internship listings, preventing scammers from trying to steal sacred information. 

“Update your profile and make it visible to employers,” Tidball said. “Also, you can search jobs or internships by major, career field, paid or unpaid, location and more. You can then set up alerts so you get emailed each time a job or internship is posted that matches the criteria you set.” 

“Check out the Resources section – we have all sorts of articles related to major and career exploration, job and internship searching, grad school preparation and more. For additional Handshake advice, I’d recommend students either stop by the Career Development & Vocation Office (Olin 110) or make an appointment with a Career Mentor or Coach to walk through it,” Tidball said. 

Here at Augustana, we’re fortunate to have so much assistance at CORE in Olin. Sure, at this point in the semester, we’re all bombarded with tons of things to study for our finals. 

But when you possibly get the time, I would say that you totally should take advantage of a quick trip to CORE. It’s in the middle of everything, and the doors are always open. Keeping yourself educated on internship and job opportunities will surely keep you out of trouble.