Balancing academics, extracurriculars, and an internship all at the same time can seem pretty daunting to most students. This is why many choose to intern over the summer and focus on academic and extracurriculars during the year. Although June may seem like an eternity away in the heart of this never-ending winter, starting early on your internship/job hunt is always a good idea!
Where should I start looking?
Both Barnard and Columbia offer career-oriented advising through Beyond Barnard and LionSHARE. Through these online databases, you can look for job and internship postings by employers you might be interested in.
On these portals, you will also be able to view all the events that are happening on campus that you might be interested in. These events range from campus-wide career fairs, panels and forums with employers, interview training, and more. Many clubs on campus also host their own panels with distinct personalities working in a particular field. These events are great networking opportunities, and we cannot stress how important it is to introduce yourself to the different people you meet there, no matter what position they hold. A simple introduction and a follow-up email can lead to the summer internship of your dreams!
You can also find the Center for Career Education office on the lower level of East Campus and the Beyond Barnard office on the second floor of Elliott Hall. They also each have career counseling and drop-in advising hours. for advising! If you’re looking to brush up your résumé or practice your interviewing skills, you might be interested in booking an appointment with one of their advisers.
What should I include in a résumé?
What you should include on a résumé varies depending on the industry you’re interested in. However, there are still some indispensable sections you should include.
First, make sure you have your contact information listed with your email address and a phone number. You should also include an “Education” section where you list the current school you’re attending, your intended major, and your graduation date. As a first-year, you can still include your high school. You should also list any notable courses you took this semester or the previous semester that might apply to the field of work you are interested in.
The next section you should include, and arguably one of the most important ones, is the “Experience” section. Make sure to list any relevant work experiences in reverse chronological order with the most recent one at the top. You should include the organization name, location, dates, position title, and a description of your accomplishments and the skills you gained. Many people think that after writing a résumé, it can be sent to as many people as possible without any editing in between, but that isn’t true. Instead, you should spend time researching potential employers and tailoring your resume to fit the specific job description they’ve posted and the mission statement of the company!
Finally, the last section you should have is an “Additional Skills” section. You can include any other miscellaneous skills you might have such as the different languages you speak or any coding experience you might have.
Keep in mind that résumébuilding takes time, so don’t be surprised if you don’t have the perfect résumé after working on it for the first time. Be patient! You can also find more resources from CCE on how to write your résumé here.
What if I don’t have enough (or any) experience?
Even if you feel like you don’t have enough experience, you probably have more than you think! You should definitely use your high school experience to your advantage by including any leadership positions you had. Make sure to also include any notable positions you might have in any clubs on campus this year. By listing all these positions, you can highlight the transferrable skills you gained through these experiences and also low-key boast about all the accomplishments you made happen through these clubs. Just think of it as another round of college applications where you try to sell the best version of yourself.
Who do I talk to if I have any questions?
If there are questions and concerns, or if you ever feel like you need to talk with a professional career counselor, Columbia’s CCE offers drop-in hours between 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For Beyond Barnard, adviser drop-in hours run from 12 to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, while you also have the option to chat with a peer career adviser during the week between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For both Columbia and Barnard, you can also schedule a more in-depth, 30-minute or 50-minute appointment on Handshake.