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Jobs, Volunteering, and Internships

Hi there! I’m currently an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and hope to find an internship sometime during the upcoming school year. However, I don’t have a ton of work/volunteer experience and I was wondering where I could find some job/work opportunities. I was also wondering if it’s possible to get an internship with very little job/volunteer experience? #internship #firstjob #volunteer #psychology #undergraduate


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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Juno,

I don't think you need prior work or volunteer experience to get an internship, but it sure does help.

As a hiring manager, the goal of having an intern on my team is the following:
* I want to find a student who shows promise for future work at my company.
* The internship is a way for me to gauge the talent of the student and see how they do during the summer.
* Supporting an intern will take resources away from my team (helping them get up to speed, checkins, etc), but it's worth it if my company benefits from getting a bright future employee.

Given the goals stated above, I definitely love seeing volunteer or prior work experience (even if it's irrelevant to the field I'm hiring for). The reason why is that it shows that the candidate has had experience working in a non-school environment, and thus is more mature. More maturity means less things that can go wrong, as expectations are better set, and less work for the team to bring them on-board.

If you happen to have the time, I would encourage you to go volunteer with the skills you already have and give back to the community that helped make you who you are today. I personally like giving back through catchafire.org, and would encourage others to do the same.

I wish you the best of luck in your future!
--
Dexter

This is very useful information. Thank you so much, I appreciate your input! Juno Elsa O.

No problem Juno. Glad it was useful. :) Dexter Arver

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Ariana’s Answer

Hi! The benefits of pursuing an internship is that it will help you discover what you do AND don't like about potential career paths! When I was a psychology major, I discovered so much about what daily life in that role could be like,the kind of work environment I wanted to be in, whether I wanted to work for a big company or a small one, the types of clients I wanted to work with, and I learned so much about myself! If you see something that you think may interest you, it doesn't hurt to apply- the more experiences you have, the more you will learn about yourself and what you want to do in the long-term! Good luck!

I’m so late but thank you so much for this! 😊 Juno Elsa O.

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Bryce’s Answer

Hi Juno,

A great way to get started in jobs or internships with limited experience is to find jobs/internships on campus. Campus love hiring students and in many cases have jobs/internships in each department reserved for students. Being on a college campus there is certainty a counseling center or some sort of mental health services on campus. You may not be able to work directly with patients, but it would definitely give you insight into the world of psychology.

This is actually a great point. Thank you for this! Juno Elsa O.

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David’s Answer

It would be good to have some volunteer and shadowing experiences before doing internship but some place will requires and some does not. So really depend on your internship site requirement if they prefer you to have some experiences before working for or with them. I would definitely recommend doing some shadowing or volunteering just to get a feel of the work and area you may decide to move toward for your internship. Without exploring the area of the field you can't really depend on the books what it tells you, on hand experiences give you a better feel of what you will be doing.

This was very useful, thank you so much! Juno Elsa O.

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Ashley Ebersberger,’s Answer

As a Recruiter, it is beneficial to have prior work experience (even if it is working at a restaurant), I would put that on your resume. But if you don't have either volunteer or work experience, try to highlight anything you are doing while in school. Are you part of an organization and/or hold a role in that group? Have you helped plan a campus event? Get creative and try to think of other things you can put on your resume that showcase transferable skills (even if you think it is irrelevant still put it on there). Working in retail was my only work experience and I was able to secure an internship. Also, you can address any additional interests in a cover letter.

Lastly, previous experience depends on the type of internship you are seeking. Some internships may be more strict in their qualifications and some may be more relaxed. I would cast your net wide and apply to as many as you can. Even if you feel you are not qualified, apply - you never know what they are looking for! Best of luck!

This is very helpful, thank you! Juno Elsa O.

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Juno,

You don't necessarily need voluntary experience for an internship, but you do need a way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. A lot of students applying for internships don't have a lot of work experience in their field... because that's what they're in college for, ha. However, in my opinion, volunteering shows dedication. When I see that someone has volunteered, I think that they have taken their own time to help others, which would immediately raise your application among others submitted if all things are equal on the resume.

Thanks,
Blake

I’ll definitely look into volunteering! Thank you for this. Juno Elsa O.

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Adebola’s Answer

You do not necessarily need it, but it would be nice to have it just to set you apart from the other candidates that applying for the same position that you applied for. When I was given my first internship, I did not have any experience within my study. Once I obtained this internship and put it on my resume, a lot of recruiters began to reach out to me and offered me interviews within their firm.

That’s great to hear, thanks for sharing! Juno Elsa O.

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Yujian’s Answer

Hi Juno,

I would assume that the type of internships you want are those which are professional, complex and paid internship. If so, based on my personal experience, recruiters are definitely looking for relevant skill sets from your previous volunteering or internship experiences to the position that you are applying. It is never too late to start looking for those experience which require minimum to no prior experience to get your foot into the door and amplify your resume. If you are interested in searching for those relevant experiences, I found very good resources from school's career center or simply word of mouth from your fellow classmates.

I hope this helps and good luck with school!

Yujian

Thank you so much 🙌🏽 Juno Elsa O.

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Shubham’s Answer

Hi Juno,

I think that internship/volunteering experience create a good impression on the recruiter. It shows your eagerness to gain hands on learning.
I would suggest you look for volunteering work through various sources and you'll see how to grow and become a better version of yourself everyday :)

All the best in your future endeavours!

Thank you SO much! 😊 Juno Elsa O.

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Duyen’s Answer

Hi Juno!

Having previous work or volunteer experience isn't necessarily a requirement before apply/landing an internship! As a recruiter, what we're looking for is translatable skillset which can be found in school projects, student organizations, or work/volunteer experiences. I was a Neuroscience/Psych major myself back in college, and I found it was most helpful to lean into the areas that I was passionate about (i.e. Charity Fundraising, Being a Tour Guide, etc) and taking on student leadership positions with those organizations which was very helpful when I was on the internship hunt during my sophomore/junior years. If you're looking to get into more of the research-side and having experiences in those areas, using your professors as a resource will also be incredibility helpful since some do research themselves or may know of folks who may need lab assistants!

Thank you so much for this! Juno Elsa O.

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Livia Thayna’s Answer

Hi Juno!

I believe you can work as volunteer for the platform: Become an online listener https://www.7cups.com/listener/become-a-volunteer-listener.php . In my opinion, this kind of "job" will enrich your skills and will be very useful for your career as psychologist.
When I see someone who volunteered, I always ask about what they achieve , the benefits and what they have learned.
I don´t think it´s necessary to have a previous experience for an internship job. You also have the experience to work in a team with your colleagues from the college. For me, during interviews, I talked about these times as a example.

As an additional tip, ask to 5 people about your skills and how they see this frequently. Take notes and think about them in your daily basis.
All the best!

Thank you so much! Very much appreciated 😊 Juno Elsa O.

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Gina’s Answer

you don't necessarily need prior volunteer work for an internship, but the experience does help. Maybe there are non-profits you can look into or work at school/on campus? It's sometimes more of the life experience than the specific area of study. And teaches you great time management.

Thanks for your input!:) Juno Elsa O.

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