Preparing to Land the Perfect Job or Internship

Preparing to Land the Perfect Job or Internship

MTSU M.B.A. student Ayodeji “D.J.” Makinde, right, speaks to a representative from Hankook Tire America Corp. during the Business Exchange for Student Talent, or BEST, Career Fair held Wednesday, March 21, in the MTSU Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

You’ve made a terrific decision by attending MTSU and pursuing a well-respected degree. However, we know you aren’t putting in hard work just for a fancy piece of paper.  You’re here to gather the experience and skills required to have a successful career once you graduate!

Once you’re at the point of looking for a job or internship, you may realize that you were never given a study guide and tested in class over the process of getting one. Not to worry though, MTSU provides you with the best resources to find the job or internship that fits your needs places you in a position to succeed.

Get involved and build your resume

While some people come straight out of high school with loaded resumes, there is no better chance to build yours than during your time at MTSU. With over 300 registered student organizations, a myriad of on-campus jobs, and countless volunteer opportunities every semester, there are plenty of ways to broaden your horizons and have relevant experience to show employers.

Speaking of resumes, the Career Development Center developed a new Resume Writing Guide that can be used to develop yours, hopefully one that helps you stand out from the crowd. They also offer a Document Drop Program, which allows you to receive professional feedback on your resumes and cover letters before sending them off.

A solid resume is the most important tool in the arsenal for young professionals looking to start their careers. If it’s well organized and contains relevant information that shows off your skills, landing at least an interview becomes so much easier.

It’s also a great idea to update your LinkedIn profile (or create one if you haven’t!), making sure your experience is always on display for professionals and classmates looking to connect with you.

Find the best opportunities for you

MTSU students and alumni visit booths during this year’s Fall Career Fair held Wednesday, Oct. 25, at MTSU’s Murphy Center. Almost 160 employers and graduate/professional schools who recruit professional-entry level or internship positions across multiple majors attended. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU students and alumni visit booths during this year’s Fall Career Fair held Wednesday, Oct. 25, at MTSU’s Murphy Center. Almost 160 employers and graduate/professional schools who recruit professional-entry level or internship positions across multiple majors attended. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Without the proper resources or connections, the hardest part of the process can be actually finding jobs and internships that work well for you. Taking into account the various requirements, schedules, and pay (or lack of), you really have to have a good sense of what you’re looking for. Luckily, once again, the Career Development Center comes to the rescue with an impressive set of web tools that’ll find the right fit for you.

Lightning CareerLink is MTSU’s primary platform for finding entry-level positions, internships, and part-time employment. This is where employers will report openings where they’re looking for current MTSU students or recent graduates, and will list a full description of what the job entails. A cool fun fact, they do not put unpaid internships into Lightning CareerLink, so make some money!

CareerShift is a search tool that allows you to both hunt for jobs as well as find contact information for businesses. This is an excellent starting point to get your name out to companies and start networking on a more personal level. MTSU provides free access to this service, so be sure that you take advantage of it.

The university also plays host to many job, career, and internship fairs throughout the school year. Often based around a single college or department, attending these fairs gets you one-on-one with most of the top employers in Middle Tennessee. Here you can learn more about different companies and their possible careers within, and potentially even get an interview on the spot!

If you use all of these resources and put in some effort, you’ll have a stream of opportunities to consider and apply for. Be sure you look beyond your first search, though! New listings are added every day and career events are always popping up on campus.

Prepare for the big interview

Half the battle is now complete, so now you can focus on preparing to land the job or internships you applied for by attending an interview. Don’t freak out on me here. You’re in the perfect spot to land the gig. Interviews can cause a ton of stress for the obvious reason of being judged for something you really want. Have no fear, though. I think you’re really cool, and you go to MTSU, so there’s one simple strategy to make yourself look really good to an interviewer: be yourself. If you are honest and put yourself out there and still get rejected, it probably wasn’t a good fit for you anyways.

No matter what strategy you use, however, interviews are always going to be stressful. But guess who has resources for you to get more comfortable with them? The Student Voice? No, we’re just here to tell you about how great our Career Development Center is!

MTSU provides you with a free account for Big Interview, a web application that gives you the opportunity to practice virtual mock interviews for various industries and experience levels. In addition to the mock interviews, they have a massive database of questions with tips on how to answer them. After plenty of practicing coming up with good answers off the top of your head, there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to take on the real thing.

Do great work!

Congratulations! You got the job/internship! Or perhaps you’ve just continued reading the article instead of actually taking it as a step-by-step guide to follow. That’s cool, too. On an honest note, however, you should consider bookmarking this page and following it throughout your journey. Job or internship hunting is a great way to learn more about yourself and grow as a professional, so tracking your progress will make the process all the more rewarding.

Now get out there, remain True Blue, and continue to gain even more experience for whatever the future holds. Take advantage of the fact you attend MTSU and show the world what you have to offer!