Were you able to get job experience or do research in your field while in college? How can I find those opportunities?
Office Hours #2: SDSU College Student Panel
This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was college life. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!
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For opportunities outside your school, check out some Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) at www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu . You can find research programs (many of them all-inclusive with housing, food and stipend) at facilities all over the USA on any topic imaginable. There are a few that accept incoming sophomores, but most prefer applicants that are going into their 3rd or 4th year.
I would highly recommend getting a little experience through research before attempting to find a corporate internship, especially if your school doesn't have a co-op program-- you will have any easier time breaking the "need experience to get experience" gridlock. Even better, you can build valuable relationships with your professors, explore various new topics, and make yourself more appealing to graduate schools if you chose to pursue them.
Best of luck!
Most communities also have local chapters of professional societies where professionals of a given trade can meet regularly for social events and learning opportunities. There is usually a fee to join but the student rates are usually heavily discounted. By attending these meetings you will become connected with the very people who can provide job opportunities. Even if a job opportunity doesn't become available, most professionals will be willing to connect with you and even mentor you.
As you connect with professionals in your field in the early part of your college studies, you may find that they don't have job opportunities yet if they are in need of someone with a specific skill that you haven't obtained yet. Try and find out what skills they need and how to best obtain those. For example, as a structural engineer, there are not many internship opportunities that I can provide since the work is so specialized and would require too much time from me to train the student. But, I often have need for an extra drafter. By taking some extra drafting courses early in your studies you would then obtain the skills that I would need to consider hiring you while in college.
Whatever your profession, opportunities for research and employment will be available, even if you need to invest a little extra time into learning a specific skill.
Jasanpreet Kaur Bhatia
Jasanpreet Kaur’s Answer
1. Through Volunteer role. (There are so many organizations who are looking for candidates like you, freshers who want to learn and volunteer. Try to be a part of any such organization.)
2. Through Internship. (If your college gives you an option to go for internship else go for Volunteer role)
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