The day when we graduate is not the only day when our potentials are regarded and celebrated. What we learn in the classroom does not provide all of the skills we’ll need to make positive contributions to our community. Without the proper skills and preparations to meet the real pressures of work, our diplomas are just pieces of paper.
We have got one method that helps us move our life forward: being interns in professional facilities where real work is done with proper skills.
On October 19th, UWT held a Career and Internship Fair on campus where employers such as UPS, Target, the Washington State Auditor’s Office, and Peace Corps looked for students they could recruit. The event was a reminder that possibilities of becoming interns at private companies and community organizations are not limited.
I spoke with Amanda Burner, Director of Student Transition Programs, who was among those who organized the fair. She had suggestions for students who want to find internships.
“Students need to transfer education into opportunities,” she said, “[internships are] a great way for students to take their class learning and apply it to a profession.” Education is not just about helping us become good learners, but good doers, as skills are only tested by the tasks we face when we do actual work. If we don’t know how to succeed, we don’t know what opportunities to look for. In order to successfully get—and more importantly, do—a job in the future, we need to test our own abilities to do a job firsthand.
“There is a lot of work you [students] need to do to work outside and know your professional brand, to explore what you can contribute,” said Burner. She suggests creating a LinkedIn profile to apply for more selective opportunities.
The opportunities for us to become interns is not a luxury because “the Career Development Center exists and helps students,” said Burner, referring to the UWT Career Development Center that is located in MAT 106. UWT is surrounded by countless businesses that look for interns. According to Burner, the Career Development Center “makes sure our campus and businesses work together to help students.”
Burner wants students to know that UWT hosts career and internship fairs twice a year, in the fall and spring. However, resources such as Husky Jobs, the Career Development Center, and student organizations exist year-round to help students.
When it comes to transforming our skills into success, I have every reason to believe none of us are helpless here on our UWT Campus. If you want to know if you are suited for the kind of a job you want to attain, the Career Development Center is the first place you should go! There are internship opportunities that are offered that help us college students get access to the resources we need.