STORY BY BETH LEVALLEY
Spring semester is finally here, which means new classes, the reunion of long-lost roommates, spring break trip and the added stress of applying for summer internships.
Most businesses love having interns, not only to find future full-time employees, but also to increase productivity in a time of need. Companies appreciate student workers because they don’t demand as much money as full-time employees, allowing employers to take advantage of low-cost labor.
While businesses enjoy having interns, college students often worry about the application process.
Kayli Kunkel, a senior graphic design and magazine double major, has held over five different internships throughout her high school and college careers.
From her start in her hometown of Dubuque, Iowa working for the company Cartegraph to her current internship at Wood Magazine at Meredith Corporation, Kunkel has had her share of experience.
For Kunkel, gaining these experiences starts from getting involved on campus.
“Get involved in everything because the opportunities on campus often build on each other,” Kunkel said.
Kunkel realizes that different Drake colleges prepare students for the application process in different ways.
“Networking is important in all areas of schooling, but it applies to the business school more so,” Kunkel said.
“In the interview, journalism students and students in the arts and sciences also have a product to show, a portfolio, whereas business students need more connections in order to have an edge in an interview.”
Parker Foote, a sophomore actuarial science major, agrees that networking is vital when applying for jobs within the area of business. As an intern in the College of Business and Public Administration, he hopes the connections he makes now can help him when looking for a full-time job in the future.
“Dean Blum, Annette Watson and Charity Schaer are all very valuable resources, and I’m hoping they will be good references when applying for a future job,” Foote said.
Foote also said he frequently turns to graduates that were in his professional fraternity for advice.
“I ask them what I should be doing at this point in my college career. I try and follow in their footsteps, so to speak,” Foote said. “I feel like I’m just repeating what Dean Blum always says, but in business you need more charisma. It’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn, you need people skills. Communication is key.”
While Foote preaches communication skills, Jamie Kennedy, a sophomore environmental science major, relies on his developing skills to get him future jobs.
“As a science intern especially in ecology or biology, it’s especially important to develop real skills to collect data — things that can’t be taught in a classroom,” Kennedy said.
This summer Kennedy will intern at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources tracking butterfly populations. He found out about the internship through a professor, and wasn’t asked to go through the application process because of his connection.
Kennedy also found out about a different internship also through a family friend who attended Drake. He emphasized the importance of building a network.
“Networking is not as big in the science field, but it’s still important to keep connections,” Kennedy said. “While there is no class that teaches how to be successful through the application process, there are still resources, faculty and if you need anything, the environmental science department is always willing to talk.”
The processes of applying for an internship can vary depending on students’ majors, but there is one piece of advice students agree on: Apply to whatever you can.
“Don’t be put off by the requirements or experience on a job application,” Kennedy said. “They will deny you if they need to, but it never hurts to apply.”