Editor’s note: This is the first of a four-part series on student internships, produced by interns in the Office of Communications and Marketing: reporting intern Adaora Onyebeke ’17 and photo and video intern Elijah Guerrero.
ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 5, 2017) — One of the most important parts of a college career is the experience a student gains from interning. That’s when skills and education are put to the test, and where students begin taking steps towards confidently joining the work force.
Noah Simon oversees the Office of Career and Professional Development at UAlbany, which assists students with everything from helping them identify their majors to explaining post-graduation and career opportunities. This includes helping build resumes, write cover letters, conduct job and internship searches and to prepare for the interview process.
“We help with anything in the career process,” Simon said. “We have both a career counselor team as well as an employer relations team.”
Among the many career programs available to students is Handshake, an online portal that helps in searching for and obtaining jobs and internships.
“Students can follow companies through Handshake to get notifications about job opportunities as well as fill out a career interest piece, which emphasizes their career interests and skills in order to obtain emails about internship and job opportunities that fall into their specific interests and skill sets,” Simon explained.
He adds, “Handshake is something we want all students to engage in from day one because we want them going in and setting up appointments with us, setting up their profiles and searching for opportunities.”
Apart from Handshake, there are many other ways students can go about searching for internships.
“Engaging and working with your professors, understanding how to network and knowing how to use LinkedIn are all a part of the processes and the skills needed to identify internship opportunities,” Simon said.
Students can also get involved with the UAlbany Career Advisor Network (UCAN). “UCAN is run through the alumni association and is an incredible tool filled with alumni who volunteer as advisors to help students network and identify work opportunities,” said Simon. “Students can come to our office to learn how to use UCAN and to find an advisor that fits their needs.”
Simon emphasized how useful these programs are, and that taking advantage of them can make the somewhat difficult job search and interview process much simpler and stress free.
“I would advise students to attain internships during their college careers because internships will help them learn, gain knowledge, develop new skills and figure out whether a certain career is a good fit for them or not.”