I know, I know: you literally just finished those internship and mentor applications, and you’re busy at work putting the finishing touches on your thesis thanks to adviser feedback. In the midst of all that busyness, applying for Externships, 1-5 day job shadowing opportunities during Summer 2014, probably doesn’t seem like the most important thing. However, spending a small amount of time and energy now (or at least, before May 18th at midnight when they are due) writing those applications will serve you well later. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Make connections to awesome organizations! The main reason people get jobs is because they know the people doing hiring. So it’s that sad truth that if you have no connection to an organization you want to work for, your odds go way down. Luckily, Externships provide the perfect opportunity to learn more about organizations without having to commit to anything long-term or high-energy.
This years externships (which you can find here – choose the Jobs tab, and then Show Me –> Externships) include organizations like Cambridge University Press, Gallup Consulting, Google, the MCA, Purgatory Pie Press, Scrappers Film Group, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, U of C Alumni Relations, and the Hyde Park Art Center.
2. Learn about potential careers without committing to unpaid internships or extensive volunteering. Externships give you the opportunity to learn more about what various careers involve and see that work on a day-to-day level. Spending an hour writing an application is totally worth figuring out if you are going to love or hate a job before you start applying for reals.
3. Practice those resume & cover letter skills! What better way to test run a resume than by applying to a similar organization as one you are hunting for jobs at – practice really does make perfect when it comes to resumes & cover letters, and the extra affirmation you’d get by landing an externship will help your confidence in the job hunt overall.