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Career Corner
Internship hunt heats up

Sean Robinson (The Daily Free Press via U-WIRE)/BOSTON -- The coming of summer for some means fun and relaxation, a break from the cold monotony of the school year. For an increasing number of students, however, the close of school is only the beginning of the hard work.

In an age of increasing competition among those eager to impress employers, more students are forgoing the beaches and lazy mornings in favor of the chance to gain practical experience in the real world through a summer internship in Boston.

Finding the right internship has become an important part of the career selection process for students at Boston University, a process becoming all the more important as summer quickly approaches and internships are quickly filled.

"[Boston] is a great city," said David DeParolesa, a College of General Studies freshman. "There are so many different fields to choose from... There are so many research opportunities available here."

Laurie Steinberg is among the students who have been "resume building" through internships for years. The College of Communication junior, who has already landed an internship in sports marketing with the Boston Red Sox, has two other internships under her belt and recognizes the importance experience plays in the job search.

For other students, however, the internship itself will be a large part of building their resumes, as they attempt to gain experience and skills in a field which they hope will entice future employers.

With graduation in just over a month, an internship can serve as a gateway to permanent employment at a company for seniors, an aspect applicants must consider when seeking internships.

"If you continue to work and do it well for the company, they may offer you a job when you graduate," said CAS sophomore Nicole DePietro.

Some opportunities, though unpaid, provide valuable experience for students. While "working for free" may seem like acontradiction in terms for some, others see the long term potential that may be gained from doing so.

"Ideally, [I am looking] for a paid internship, but I would even accept an unpaid internship considering that I have little experience to offer," DePietro said.

Steinberg, whose previous two internships were both unpaid, agreed. "You need the experience [of unpaid internships] in order to get the paid internships later on," she said.

Having begun her summer internship early, Steinberg said she had been "looking through larger PR firms, local radio stations and even working for BU" before she found the Red Sox job though a friend.

Many students said they look for internships in the Boston area because of the advantages to the city for interns and students. However, the cost of living in a city can be expensive for students, and the process of finding affordable off-campus summer housing will be a trial in itself.

The social lure of Boston is also a factor in a student's decision to stay, Steinberg said, adding she hopes to "explore and enjoy the city, without the burden of worrying about school work."

The only problem, DeParolesa said, is "there are so many students competing for jobs and internships ... competition is high."

"It is a lot of hard work, a lot of searching and hoping," DePietro said. For most students, a large part of the process is spent online, searching the variety of internship databases available to students both publicly and through the University.

To alleviate internship-hunting stress, the College of Communication's online Career Services offers descriptions of available internships, as well as guidelines on searching and applying for internships. The online guide also offers tales of previous BU interns.

No matter what assistance is given, according to Steinberg, the process is not an easy one, though she said landing a good internship this summer will "open doors with other companies, [many of which] have positions available in other cities as well.

(c) 2001 The Daily Free Press via U-WIRE

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