University of New Haven Students Reflect on the Importance of Internships
Many Chargers spent their summers networking and gaining real-world experience through internships. Several students discuss what they gained from these opportunities and offer advice to other students who are interested in landing an internship.
October 2, 2023
By Anchal Bhatia'24 MBA
Summer, as much as it may be considered free time for students, can also be a period filled with learning and opportunities. Thus, students from various backgrounds, majors, and programs of study choose to balance the two and contribute to their productivity.
Over the summer, University of New Haven undergraduate and graduate students were involved in a variety of skill-building and professional learning either by enrolling for summer courses at the University, making the most of digital resources by pursuing certifications, upskilling themselves by accomplishing personal goals, learning ways to balance between a life with friends and family while experiencing personal pursuits, and by taking this time to realize which pathway they wish to aim for next!
Some of these experiences were also related to summer internships. Many believe that internships are a great way to understand personal goals and consider it an uplifting and real-time professional experience.
'My internship helped me understand my true goals'
"While at Boeing, I had a great opportunity to network with senior employees who have worked for Boeing between 5-20 years,” she said. “This networking convinced me of the power to understand what mistakes people make in their professional tenure and the ways they overcome those mistakes. My internship helped me understand my true goals and made me realize everything else that I would like to pursue.”
Looking for an internship and securing one can be challenging, but never giving up is the key, suggests White. She believes staying coachable, approachable, and asking questions are great ways to seek the right opportunity. Moreover, White also believes that real-world professional experience is vast, diverse, and different; therefore, continuing to remain curious and confident is the key to growth.
'Your first impression'
Megan Ringuette ’24 MBA said she believes internships are a "crucial addition while undergoing a university experience." Ringuette, too, interned with Boeing over the summer in the finance department and considers an internship a great way to learn a lot about skills, communication, and methods to network.
“Internships are competitive, so you must start looking for them early,” she said. “Don't be afraid to reach out to people and allow them to get to know you, as this will help you ease your internship search and enhance your confidence.”
Ringuette recommends participating in the University’s career fairs as much as possible and considers it a great place to meet recruiters and get to know them. She also acknowledges the idea of skill-building and considers soft skills a great deciding factor for recruiters.
"Emotional intelligence is becoming more of an important factor in upcoming generations,” says Ringuette. “People want to be treated fairly and appreciated. Be the person you would want your boss, peer, or co-worker to be."
Ringuette also suggests keeping a recent, updated, and clean resume, which should be, at most, a page, ideally. Beyond this, she also expressed her thoughts about one's body language during the interviews, which makes a great difference for the interviewers.
"Your first impression can be your last, so make sure you display confidence from the beginning,” she said. “Truly, you will not always know what an interviewer will ask you but be prepared by practicing some basic questions. Keeping a firm body language and glowing with confidence will bring positive results."
"Internships help people stand out from the crowd, boost professional skills, and provide real-time experiences that can go a long way while deciding on long-term career goals," says Jindal.
He then extended his advice on utilizing the University's career-development resources and simultaneously building a presence on job portals to achieve successful results.
"Many organizations post internship openings directly on their website, so make sure to explore such opportunities and apply directly," says Jindal.
Jindal firmly believes in building relationships by networking with professionals and maintaining an online presence to get seen and heard as an internship seeker.
"Don't be afraid to ask questions and never stop being curious," he said.
Jindal believes maintaining a resume and displaying top skills and certifications can be the game changer. He also believes that interviews can be stressful, but he suggests keeping calm and maintaining comfortable eye contact with the interviewer.
"Remember that nervousness is natural, and interviewers often expect it, but what's important is how you express yourself," Jindal added.
'Learn to be comfortable'
Arti Singh ’24 MBA, who was an intern with Northwestern Mutual over the summer, was pleased with her internship experience and found it a great opportunity to explore her true interests, as well as foster her overall professional development.
“Networking should not be limited to one's interest but should also be maintained with people with different career interests, as you might never know who finds you to be a perfect fit for a role," she said.
LinkedIn was one of the best resources for Singh during her internship search. Since then, Singh has believed that LinkedIn can be the best source, backed by other online portals, career fairs, and student-faculty interactions.
In Singh's opinion, dressing professionally, maintaining eye contact, having a firm handshake, and providing an updated CV at career fairs are essential steps. She also thinks that reaching out and asking for the employer's business cards to email them personally can make a big difference and impact the internship search.
"Looking for internships and talking to people from different backgrounds can seem intimidating at first, but, eventually, one must learn to be comfortable to obtain a successful position professionally," says Singh.