4 Reasons Why You Should Do an Internship in College

Why You Should Do an Internship

You’ve heard the advice a bazillion times.

Get experience before you finish school and you’ll have a better shot at getting hired when you graduate. Everyone makes it sound so easy…as if your schedule wasn’t already packed with exams and studying.

Here’s the thing:

Internships are a stepping stone that can launch your entire career. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Formers interns report higher rates of employment and higher salaries than recent graduates who didn’t complete an internship.

But you know what else? Internships can offer you a ton of advantages when it comes to your future work (and personal life).

Let’s look at four reasons why you should do an internship.

 

#1 You’ll Discover What Things Are Really Like

To begin with, college internships let you see what it’s really like in the trenches. You get the opportunity to experience the reality of working in a particular role, or what it looks like to work for a specific company.

Why should you care? Believe it or not, your dream job isn’t always what it seems. I’ve been there myself. An internship lets you test out your dreams before you’re 3-years-deep into a career you absolutely hate.

If you find yourself on a career path you despise, you have to start all over again. This might not seem like a big deal. However, you might realize you can’t stand to work another minute at your stupid job at a time in your life when you want to focus on other things. Like your personal life. Or earning a higher income.

Without interning, you won’t really know what your vision looks like until you accept the position. Then you’re kinda stuck until you figure a way out.

 

#2 You Can Break Into Ultra-Competitive Industries

Want to break into an industry with fierce competition? You’ll need experience. There’s no other way around it unless you have some powerful contacts.

Internships lead to the chance to build an incredible network, spice up your resume, and learn the realities of your potential career path. These are all golden opportunities. You’ll be able to beef up your resume with your accomplishments, new job, and technical skills, giving you job experience that employers are seeking out today.

But let’s back up a little bit. Why does networking matter so much?

You often hear that finding a job is about who you know. This is often portrayed in a negative light; people sometimes look down on a candidate who landed a job based on their connections. But there’s more to the story than what it seems.

Networking doesn’t have to be sleazy.

It’s simply about having contacts in the industry who know the type of work you’re capable of producing. These are people who can trust you. These types of referrals can get you far, so stay in touch with your industry network! It’s easier than ever keep contact with these connections online, via email or a social network like LinkedIn.

Why You Should Do an Internship

#3 You’ll Learn How to Handle Situations

When you work as an intern, you get a glimpse into “the real world” of professional environments.

You see, there are many different departments within an organization or company. You learn how each of these departments interact with each other. Ultimately, you see how your job role affects other departments. You’ll learn more about how your work benefits your future employers–which helps you sell yourself as the perfect candidate–and learn how to climb the ladder to reach your end-goal.

You also gain experience working under pressure. Yes, you’re learning this in college, but it’s a lot different at your job. You get to make decisions and show your boss what you’re truly capable of.

But there’s one small catch. You might also get a first-hand glimpse into office politics. While you hope to avoid workplace drama, it’s inevitable sometimes. As much as it sucks, you want to learn how to handle these situations like a pro (so you can avoid them in the future).

 

#4 It Can Lead to a Full-Time Offer

While there’s no guarantee, you might get hired on as a full-time employee after your internship is finished.

I’ve seen it happen over and over again with my peers. Many companies will hire from their intern pools. It’s just easier that way because they’ve already devoted their time and energy into training you. Hiring for a job is a long process and these positions need to be filled!

Plus, once employers know how amazing your work is and can see with their own eyes how much value you add to their team, they won’t ever want you to leave.

 

So When Should You Start Looking?

If you’re looking for a summer internship, February is the best month to apply. It doesn’t hurt to start searching for what’s out there in the meantime. That gives you time to work on your resume and portfolio too.

But I’m going to let you in on a secret. Another option is applying for a fall or spring internship: there’s far less competition.

This is especially important if your field is in a hyper-competitive industry. For instance, I have a friend who attends one of the best schools in this country. She couldn’t find a summer internship, even though she applied to dozens. What did she do? Even though she felt discouraged, she kept searching over the summer.

By July, she landed the fall internship of her dreams.

Some programs require an internship before you can graduate. Other programs don’t make it mandatory but will offer credits toward your degree. If it’s not required, the choice is yours…but I think it’s worth it.

Resource:

How To Land Your Dream Internship: Proven Step-By-Step System To Gain Real World Experience by Tam Pham

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know whether college is still worth it in 2018?

Here’s a crazy fact: If you add up all of the student loan debt in the US, it reaches over $1.4 trillion dollars. It’s hard to visualize just how much a trillion dollars is.

But here’s an idea:

A trillion dollars laid out next to each other would reach the sun. Likewise, a trillion dollars is nearly the amount of money currently in circulation in the entire country.

Currently, the average college student graduates with $31,000. Paying off the burden of student loans can take decades, depending on what field you work in post-college and how much total debt you take on. For one thing, graduate, law, and medical degrees rack up significantly more tuition than a 4-year undergraduate degree.

If you add up the costs, is college really worth the debt today? Let’s weigh in.

College is Expensive

While the costs for tuition and books have steadily increased over the last 30 years, so has the value of a college degree.

How so?

Well, the average starting salary for a college grad has never been higher. According to Time, the average pay for new college graduates is right around $50,000.

(Want to find out how much the Class of 2018 is really earning? Click here to find out.)

So this means that yes, we’re paying more to attend college. But we’re also getting more opportunity from it than our parents or the generations before us.

A recent study conducted by Georgetown University found that people who graduate from college earn around $17,000 more per year than high school graduates. That adds up to a million more over your lifetime. Considering we need between $1 million to $1.5 million saved up to retire, attending college can help secure your future.

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018? Unemployment rate chart by level of education.

This graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compares the average weekly pay and unemployment rates based on your level of education.

College is a Gamble

We already know that some college degrees will pay off faster than others. The average salary in technology, medicine, or science is going to much higher than a starting salary in arts or humanities.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue arts if that’s our passion. But should we go the route of student loans in that case?

It’s a gamble.

If you decide to pursue one of these routes–like sociology, arts, psychology, or political science–consider how much you’ll realistically earn in 5-10 years before you take out student loans. In this case, it’s probably wiser to seek financial aid in the form of scholarships. The debt isn’t worth it.  

 

Not All Debt is Bad

Having a little bit of debt can actually be beneficial.

After all, taking out student loans, car payments, or credit cards is how you start to build your credit history.

If you’ve never borrowed money, you don’t have any credit. This makes it harder to take out a loan for large purchases in the future–like when you’re ready to buy a house

When you make on-time payments on your debt, you’re demonstrating you can borrow money responsibly and pay it off. I saw this happen first hand when I paid off my first car and my credit score jumped up to excellent!

I still have a significant amount left on my student loans, but my credit has never looked better.   

However, I wish I had known exactly what I was getting myself into when I borrowed money in college. Nobody really explained student loans to me, they just let me rack up debt with no questions asked. The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College is a fantastic resource for high school seniors or any students who want to understand their financial decisions better.

 

In Conclusion

Is college worth it today? That is ultimately your call to make, but I think it’s absolutely worth every penny. If I could do it all over again, I’d still go back to college.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Resources

The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College by Anthony O’Neal

Student Loan Planning: A Borrower’s Guide to Understanding and Repaying Student Loan Debt by Ryan H Law

Paying for College Without Going Broke, 2018 Edition: How to Pay Less for College (College Admissions Guides) by Princeton Review

 

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

I remember it so vividly.

Watching my parents smile proudly at me. Snapping hundreds of selfies with my classmates. Walking across the stage and shaking the dean’s hand.

You never forget the day you graduate from college.

Graduation day is packed with emotion. There’s the rush of excitement, accomplishment, and awe.

The next day? Reality sinks in. It’s time to start your job hunt. You’re thrilled to take the next steps in “the real world” but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.

How long will it take me to find a job? How much will it pay? Where do I even WANT to work?

LendEDU decided to investigate what it’s really like for brand-new college grads entering the workforce this year. They polled 1,000 graduates from the Class of 2018 to see how their job search has gone over the last couple of months (and how much they’re really making).

So what’s the starting salary for a new college graduate?

Let’s look into their results.

 

How Much New College Graduates Should Expect to Make

Good news: LendEDU found that nearly half of the former students they surveyed already found their first full-time job this summer. When asked how they would describe their current situation, they responded:

  • 41.3% of 2018 graduates have landed a job
  • 34.4% are still on the search for a job
  • 24.3% are taking summer off to figure out their next steps

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

In less than two months, many recent graduates have already ended their job search with success! 20% of those who found a full-time job listed that it wasn’t in a field like tech, health, education, engineering, or in media.

If you’ve ever felt unsure about your job future due to your college major–rest assured that there is still a lot of potential work out there for you.

What’s the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018?

According to The Class of 2018 Career Report, most students expect to make between $36,000-50,000 per year in their first job out of college. But does this expectation match the job market today?

While over ¼ of new graduate ARE making that much in an entry-level position, 33.4% are actually earning below $35,000.

You might be thinking, “But wait–I went to college to make a good living!”

I know the feeling.

But this study matches my experience with my first job out of college, where I was making $30,000. It wasn’t easy. I was living in a metropolitan city where my rent took up the majority of my income.

However, it wasn’t a major difference from life in college. I knew how to stretch my budget in order to get by. I even saved some money in the first year! It turns out, I wasn’t stuck at that salary for long either–I started searching for jobs after a year of getting experience in my field.

Flash forward 6 months. I had landed my DREAM job and my salary jumped up to expectations. Was it worth sticking out that first year being broke? I definitely think so.  

Here’s a closer look at the results from Salary Expectations vs. Graduates Actual Salary:

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

As you can see, some graduates are earning over $50,000 but it’s the exception. In this case, their job duties probably involve some specialized skill set or they have work experience under their belt.

 

So How Did These Graduates Find Their First Job?

One of the biggest challenges new graduates face when they’re looking for their first full-time job is knowing where to look.

Then again, it’s never been easier to search for jobs today. You can search online through job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor–or look directly on a company website to find out what roles they’re currently hiring for.

At the same time, don’t ignore your personal network. It turns out nearly 30% of recent college graduates found their job through connections.

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Don’t think you have the right connections? Reach out to your friends and family, anyway. They have years of experience (in work AND life) where they’ve built connections. You never know which connections could be valuable.

As you can see from the chart above, there are plenty are ways to find a job outside of your network too.

All in all, it’s safe to say future salary projections are on the minds of every college student. If you’re a current student or soon-to-be graduate, you can prepare for what’s next by gaining some “real world” work experience, an internship, and building your network.

Want to get the full scoop on the rest of the survey results? Check it out here on the LendEDU blog.

Why You Should Use Social Media to Find a Job

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

You’ve probably heard the warnings.

“Be careful what you share on social media. The things you post can affect your future.”

Maybe your parents or well-meaning teachers have been telling you this since you first got a cell phone. While they’re not wrong in exercising caution with what you share online–controversial posts can kill your job search–there’s another side to it.

Don’t know where to look for jobs?

Get this:

Social media can HELP get you a job.

Want to know how? I’ll explain:

  • Why LinkedIn is more than just a home for your resume
  • How to take advantage of your network on LinkedIn
  • The reason Instagram can make or break your job search
  • Why social media isn’t a waste of your time after all

Here’s how to make your online presence work for you.

 

How to Find a Job Using Social Media Platforms

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

Make LinkedIn a Priority Before You Graduate

Haven’t created your LinkedIn profile yet?

Even if you don’t have tons of job experience (or any) at this point, it’s still worth it to get started on LinkedIn. After all, it’s the #1 place hiring managers and recruiters go to look for candidates.

Simply creating a profile on social media offers more opportunities because you become more visible and appear more credible.  

 

Stand Out with Your Headline & Summary

It’s easy to let your headline go to waste on LinkedIn. Our instincts are to make our headline our current job title…but that’s what everyone else is already doing! In order to stand out, use terms that people are searching for.

For example, if I search for “software engineer student” in the Washington, D.C. area, these are the results:

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

These engineer students use their headline to explain they’re actively seeking internships. Which candidates would grab your attention–someone with a descriptive headline or someone who only lists their job title?

Your summary is also another to introduce yourself. Keep it short and sweet, but don’t be afraid to let your accomplishments shine. This is the place where you should brag.

 

Ask for Pro Recommendations

The “Recommendations” section can add a LOT of value to your LinkedIn profile.

Haven’t worked a job yet? That’s okay, you can still use recommendations to your advantage!

Ask your professors if they can write up a brief recommendation on LinkedIn. The classroom counts. Your professors can share their experience with your work performance and most teachers would be happy to help you out as a reference.

You’ve also worked on team projects in the classroom. Ask one of your classmates to provide a recommendation on what it’s like to work with you. Word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful.

(Don’t be like me. For a while, my one recommendation on LinkedIn was from my mom. Super embarrassing. 😳)

For more on how to write an awesome LinkedIn profile, check out this book: Linkedin: Tell Your Story, Land the Job. It breaks down the steps and explains how to get started with networking on the platform.

Want to know more about using social media like Instagram on your job search?

Keep reading.

 

How to Use Instagram to Land a Job After College

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

Think using Instagram is all about pretty images?

It’s not. Browsing your feed is a lot of fun but you can also use Instagram to boost your professional image. How’s this? By building your “personal brand” on the platform–especially if you’re in an industry that runs heavy on aesthetics.

When people refer to your personal brand, it just means the way you market yourself online. In this case, you’re marketing yourself to potential employers.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

Keep Your Username and Bio Professional

That means it shouldn’t be @xoxo_sarahhh17.

There’s nothing wrong with a cute username, but it probably won’t impress pros who come across your profile. In fact, I’d recommend you create a second account for your personal life and professional image. It’s really easy to switch between profiles inside the app by adding a new account.

Your bio should also include a short statement about the work you do (or are looking to do!)

 

Use All the Hashtags

Hashtags can transform Instagram into a search engine. You can add hashtags to your posts in order to help your profile get found by people AND to hunt for jobs.

You can look for jobs by searching hashtags like:

  • #hiring
  • #nowhiring
  • #jobopening
  • #jobsearch

If you pop in any hashtags into the search on Instagram the app will also suggest several related hashtags, so you can easily find other hashtags that might be useful.

Want additional insight into how to use Instagram for your career? Instagram for Marketing ebook is available and will cost you less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

So what does this all mean?

Odds are that you’re already on social media every day. Sometimes all it takes is knowing where to look for jobs and a little creative thinking to stand out. What’s stopping you?

If you need more help, leave us a comment below.

Resources

The Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

Can I be totally honest with you?

Getting good grades in college isn’t THE most important goal for an undergraduate student.

Look, graduating with honors is an incredible achievement. If you plan to apply to grad school or continue your education, earning high grades is your main focus. But you know what else is equally valuable, yet less discussed?

Having work experience.

If you’ve never gained any work experience before graduating, you’ll find the job search to be pretty tough. According to the NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey, more than 90% of employers prefer to hire candidates with work experience. 65% of that group prefer candidates to have relevant work experience to the job they’re applying for.   

With this in mind, summer is the perfect time to find a seasonal job. Plus, it never hurts to earn some extra cash!

So what type of work should you look for as a student? Here are 6 summer jobs suited for college students in 2018 (even if you have no experience).

6 Summer Jobs for College Students

Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

1. Tutoring

Tutoring is awesome work for a student. It’s flexible and can pay pretty well for a part-time gig, especially depending on your location. To make your summer job even more beneficial, tutor students in a subject that’s related to your studies.

Tutoring companies are often looking for K-12th grade tutors, and the pay usually starts at $25 per hour. You can also seek tutoring positions for the ACT or SAT exams–these can pay up to $50-60 per hour!

2. Office Temp Job

While working in an office doesn’t sound like a fun summer job, you get the opportunity to add valuable experience to your resume.  Especially if your field will likely lead you to an office job.

There are a ton of positions in any company that works out of an office, but without any experience, you should be looking for temp jobs for entry level positions, like data entry, administrative assistant, or receptionist. You can search for temp agencies in your area or apply to temp jobs on your own search using Indeed, LinkedIn, or even Craigslist.

3. Student Research Assistant

Want to learn on the job and keep your brain refreshed over summer break? Research assistant positions can pay anywhere from $10-18 per hour. You develop skills like communication, critical thinking, and how to analyze data.

If you plan to continue your education after undergrad school, student research assistant jobs look great on your resume.

4. Retail Job

Unless you’re a fashion major, you might be wondering how retail applies to your future. But don’t knock it right away. Retail jobs offer a lot of flexibility, and the summertime is a major hiring season for retailers. Plus, you can quickly move up the ranks in a retail job.

For example, I know a grad student who took a part-time sales position during the semester. She was a hard worker and quickly earned a small promotion. Not even two months later she was offered a temporary management position for the summer.

Retail doesn’t have much to do with this student’s future path, however, she can show growth in a company while speaking to leadership and other transferable skills management offers you.

5. Tech Job

The tech industry is booming–get your foot in the door! Tech jobs don’t have to be about web development and programming (though those are great skills for any graduate to have).

They can vary across a wide range of industries, including marketing, social media, and software engineering. Breaking into the tech industry is a worthwhile opportunity for every job candidate.

6. Internship

It’s not too late to still get that summer internship…if you act fast. Companies are still posting internship opportunities, even though we’re in the first week of June. Check out Indeed.com and LinkedIn.

The upside to this is the hiring process will likely be faster because they’re looking to fill these internship spots–and you win the oppotunity to gain direct experience in your field.