When I elected to go back to school a year and half ago for my Master's in Communications Management, I knew I wanted to re-vamp my skills; however, I also realized that I needed new work experience as well.
Prior to my time at Simmons School of Management, I worked in health care as an administrative assistant. It was a great start to my professional career, but not exactly what I wanted to do for my career. At the two-year mark at my health care job, I decided to go back into marketing communications, but the jobs that I applied to wouldn't consider me because my skills were outdated.
Since starting classes I have brushed up on my skills with team projects and writing assignments, but I felt I was still missing work experience, so I decided to add to my job search a part-time internship. I could not quit my full-time job as I am in the process of paying for a wedding and graduate school. However, I still wanted to gain new skills and experience in the communications field.
I searched the pages of Craigslist, job boards, as well as the Simmons Career Center job board. I continued to apply and had confidence that someone would take a chance on me. And someone finally did. In June of this year, I became the Communication intern for a non-profit firm based in Cambridge who empowers young girls and teens to explore science through events and workshops. Some days, I handle the balance between my internship and everything else well, and other days can be a bit of a struggle.
It can be extremely tough balancing a full-time job, internship, and school. Here are a few tips for surviving the search of an internship:
- Network: If you know someone at a target company of yours, ask them if they have interns. Tell them that you are looking for an internship to refresh and gain skills in that field.
- Be honest: When applying for an internship be honest about your intentions in your cover letter. Let them know your schedule, the hiring manager will appreciate your honesty.
- Utilize your school's career center: Your school can connect you with companies or organizations that have approached them looking for help. They can also help you formulate your target companies and research potential internship programs.
- Do not give up: You may be turned away numerous times, similar to a job search, but keep your faith, there is an opportunity out there for you.
If you are passionate about making a career change, and want to gain the skills necessary to land your dream job - take the chance and dive headfirst. I do not regret my decision and if anything, it has opened the door of opportunity.