The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Career Center gives pointers for summer internships

Izzy Smith

As the 2023-2024 academic year draws to a close, many students have been seeking opportunities for employment and internships to fill their summertime break from school. Some students may find themselves looking to complete internship requirements for their degree program, while others may simply be looking to generate an income to pay the bills. No matter what situation students may face, the University of North Alabama has several services and programs to help guide them in their search.

One of these useful tools to help guide UNA students in their search for employment is the Career Center located on campus within the Collier Library. Among a variety of services, the Career Center helps guide students in the process of building and formatting their resumes, in addition to facilitating relationships with companies in a wide range of industries to connect students with potential employers. The Career Center has helped place students in internships and jobs within their career fields 

An internship is one of the most crucial aspects of the degree plan for many students. A student’s internship provides critical hands-on experience within their career field. For a communications student, this could take the form of writing scripts for a newscast or editing press releases for a marketing team. For a business student, this could look more like helping draft proposals and organizing business plans. No matter what the internship looks like for a student, it is an invaluable part of the college learning experience. When preparing for an internship, students should do their best to think as far ahead as possible. 

“Internships for this summer were typically open last fall, and may have even closed before Christmas,” says Dr. Rickey McCreless, the Director of External Communications and Student Success at the Career Center. “You really almost have to think a year in advance.”

Some interesting internship options for students who may not be able to complete a full, semester-length internship are the Parker Dewey Micro-internships. These smaller-scale internships are project-based and managed by the Parker Dewey service, which connects students to businesses in need of interns. Projects are typically much shorter than the typical internship program, and details such as payment and project length are handled entirely by Parker Dewey.

Networking is one of the most important ways to set yourself apart from other candidates in an applicant pool. More often than not, it can also provide a student with opportunities that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. Dr. McCreless notes that an employer with a strong presence on UNA’s campus, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), is one particularly diverse organization, saying that they need everyone from communications professionals to engineers. He also remarks on the importance of building a student’s network of connections, even with companies that they may not originally think could have any use for their skillset. According to Dr. McCreless, over 70% of employees currently in the workforce have found their jobs through their personal network, rather than other avenues such as online job boards.

An easy way to find yourself in front of employers like TVA and others is to make sure to look out for career fairs and other networking opportunities on campus throughout the year, many of which are organized by the career center. He says that many students have found summer internships and footholds in their career fields through events like these.

“My biggest piece of advice is Network, Network, Network,” says Dr. McCreless. “Even if you are a biology major and the employer is in the College of Business–go meet them. Go shake their hand. Put your resume in front of them.”

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About the Contributors
Trevor Mickle
Trevor Mickle, A&E Editor
Trevor is a freshman student from Jemison, Alabama, majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Digital Media Production. Trevor is excited to get involved on campus help keep students informed on important topics in our community.
Izzy Smith
Izzy Smith, Lead Graphic Designer
Izzy Smith is a freshman from Tupelo, Miss. She is pursuing a B.F.A. in Digital Media and a minor in HCI/UX Design. She volunteered with the Flor-Ala in the Fall semester of 2023. She is somewhat excited to "make mediocre art" for the newspaper as the lead graphic designer.

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