So You Don’t Have An Internship This Summer?

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The academic year is winding down, summer is approaching and panic sets in.  You don’t have a summer internship yet.  Perhaps you’ve been spending endless hours applying for positions since the fall semester but nothing has worked out.  Or maybe you just started applying for positions last week and the majority of them have been filled.

Stress mounts as self-doubt runs through your mind. “Time is running out.  Without an internship I’ll never land my dream job.”

Wrong. Don’t panic! While you may no longer be able to land your dream internship for now, there are many valuable and productive ways to spend your time this summer.  Here is a game plan to make sure you make this summer count!

1. Network

Whether you’re tapping into your own established network or asking your parents what friends of theirs you can contact, networking is a powerful method to help advance your career. Not sure where to start? Consider reconnecting with former teachers, mentors or even alumni from your high school. See whom they know and who they can introduce you to.  Get out there and attend networking events this summer. It all starts with a conversation, so step out of your comfort zone and create connections with those around you.

2. Volunteer

Whether you’re volunteering at a local food pantry or with a national non-profit organization, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer and prepare yourself for your future career.  Many volunteer positions will give you a proper title that will look just as great as an internship on your resume, and you can list your job duties just as you would for an internship. Nonprofits are always looking for volunteers. Try finding an organization your passions align with and contact them to see how you can help.  Serving as a volunteer could lead you to an internship or even a full time position. 

3. Continue the search

Don’t stop applying.  Consider taking an unpaid internship to gain the experience, if needed.  Use this free time to find the perfect internship for next semester.  Get yourself hired before anyone else even begins working on their resumes. Keep an eye on job openings.  Contact companies and reach out to them before they even get a chance to say they are hiring.  You will be ready for next semester before anyone has a chance to even think about it.  It’s never too late, so don’t lose your drive.

Untitled.png24. Gaining skills from unrelated jobs

Within your summer job ask if you can help out with something that relates to your field of work.  Make sure your unrelated job ties into the overall narrative you’re telling about your skills and experiences.  You can highlight components of your summer job and relate it back to your career goals on your resume.  Some transferrable skills include: working with difficult people, managing time or stress, working with money, and the list goes on and on. Don’t dismiss the experiences that are coming your way.  Even though it is not your ideal internship, you can still learn new things every day at an unrelated job.

Not sure where to begin your search? Click on the different colleges below to for a list of internship coordinators here at UW-Whitewater:

Your resources are closer than you think.

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  1. Revamp your online presence

Take the summer to update your LinkedIn profile, clean up social media accounts, and revamp your resume.  Think about what you have accomplished in the past year; new skills, course, projects or certificates.  By taking the time to update your resume you can focus on the details and specifics to make it as clean as possible while reflecting your personal achievements.  Not only will these updates save you time down the road, but also you will begin to recognize what areas you may need to start focusing on for the future.

  1. Continue your education

Take summer courses.  Use this summer to build up your GPA.  You can lighten up your load for the fall by taking summer classes.  Pick up classes that will help you with something in the long run.  Teach yourself Photoshop or how to code.  Learning new skills that relate to your career field can give you an edge when applying for internships.  Click on the different colleges below to see whom to contact to help you find internships here at Whitewater.

You may not have the perfect internship in place, but you can still gain skills and experience for your resume. Take a moment to sit down and make your game plan to attack the fall semester. Remember, don’t panic!

Intern of the Month: Becky Wintringer

Written by Stephanie Gordon

Coming to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Becky Wintringer was not sure this was the place for her. It was not until she became involved with her residence hall that she was sure Whitewater was home.

Throughout her time at UW-Whitewater, Wintringer was involved in many aspects of student life. From being a general member of the Optimist Club her freshman year, to being a part of the Homecoming Steering Committee last fall, it seems that she has done it all.

Wintringer, an English literature major with minors in journalism and communication, was named the April Intern of the Month for her internship with Career & Leadership Development (C&LD).

Wintringer was hired as a Warhawk Connection Center Intern for the fall of 2013. However, this was not the path she thought she would take.

Originally applying to be a customer service associate, Wintringer found herself with the offer to be an intern in the Warhawk Connection Center. In looking at this opportunity, she felt that it was an area that she did not have a lot of experience in, however, was one that she could grow and develop from.

Throughout her time in the Warhawk Connection Center, Wintringer has appreciated all of the people that she has met and worked with.

“I have absolutely loved my time in the Warhawk Connection Center,” Wintringer stated. “I have been mentored and advised by wonderful professionals throughout my time here who have really helped me develop into the open-minded and professional that I am today. My skills have been fine-tuned in so many ways.”

Wintringer’s time in C&LD will follow her through her next endeavor. After graduation, Wintringer is going to be moving to Massachusetts to pursue her master’s degree in higher education administration and working in their housing department as a first year resident educator at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell.

After learning and growing here at UW-Whitewater, she is excited to see where this new journey takes her and what new experiences she will have and the lessons she will learn.

Take advantage of the opportunities around you and keep an open mind,” Wintringer noted. “You never know when you’re going to find your passion.”

Passion Drives Motivation: Kate Winkler Named March Intern of the Month

Kate Winkler knew there was something missing from her marketing major when she entered the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

It was not until the second semester of her freshman year when she was enrolled in Biology 120, that she discovered what she wanted to study for the duration of her undergraduate collegiate career.

“I’ve always been proficient in science and wanted to take more science courses after that semester,” Winkler said. “After speaking with my adviser, I switched majors and began the path that has brought me to where I am now.”

Winkler, a senior integrated science and business major from Kewaskum, Wis., was awarded the Intern of the Month honor for the month of March. Her marketing internship started in July of 2014 at Spacesaver Corporation.

Spacesaver is an innovator in storage, offering solutions to make every aspect of a business run more efficiently.

A former supervisor from her time as a market researcher for the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) contacted Winkler about the internship at Spacesaver.

“While I only completed one project under her direction, she thought that my constant drive for knowledge and diligent work ethic would be a great fit at the company,” Winkler said. “After doing my research on the corporation, I too, knew it would be a great fit for me.”

During her time at Spacesaver, Winkler has created market briefs about different industries, conducted online surveys and phone interviews to gauge the preferences of their audience and collaborated with the marketing team to develop user-friendly product pages.

Winkler is also working to improve Spacesaver’s social media strategy and search engine optimization strategy. This includes working with social media outlets to increase audience engagement and research key words to incorporate into the company’s content.

“What intrigued me about the position at Spacesaver was the fact that I would be able to constantly collaborate with the whole marketing team,” Winkler said. “Most of my market research projects that I had completed at WISC were very individually driven projects and while I can work efficiently on my own, I think that the best work comes out of a team effort.”

Another big part of Winkler’s internship is communicating with several different people, in order to work more efficiently and know the product better.

This has proven to be initially difficult, but has produced substantial benefits, Winkler notes.

“What I had thought were strengths before are even stronger strengths now because the marketing team at Spacesaver has pushed my boundaries,” Winkler said. “Spacesaver has taught me that a job can be fun, yet scary. I have learned that it is okay to take a risk and fail, just as long as you learn and grow from it.

Outside of work experience, Winkler is currently the captain of the UW-Whitewater Women’s Golf Team and has been a member for the past four years.

Golf is individual and team-based at the same time and truly showcases an individual’s work ethic, according to Winkler.

“I came to UW-Whitewater to play golf, but I have found so much more than that,” Winkler said. “I think UW-Whitewater does a tremendous job at giving students all that they need to succeed and pushing students to be their ultimate best, both in the classroom and outside.”

After graduation, Winkler wants to continue working in marketing for a water business. Until then, she will continue to learn and grow as a working professional.

“Take advantage of all opportunities and soak it all in,” Winkler said. “Learn as much as you can and apply it. Push past what you know and try something new. Collaborate and share your ideas. But most of all take advantage of these opportunities and absorb as much as you can while the chance is in your hands.”

 Apply to be our next Intern of the Month and share your story!