By Nick Smith
Jake Lacey/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Political science and psychology senior Fernando Ascencio examines information about internships in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday. In addition to internships being offered, student clubs were present recruiting members.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Last summer, James Walter, a junior majoring in English, scanned the classifieds pages of the newspaper looking for an internship.
Now Walter is working as an intern at the Tucson office of Rep. Jim Kolbe, which he said involves communicating with Kolbe's constituents and other government agencies.
"It's been really interesting and rewarding being part of a government office," Walter said. "The best part was getting better people skills."
Many students like Walter have internships or are seeking them to help get a foot in the door in the workforce.
Members of student government and the Alpha Kappa Psi coed business fraternity hosted an internship fair yesterday to help students get the real-world experience they will need when entering the workforce.
"You don't get these kind of skills in the classroom," said Erin Hertzog, Associated Students of the University of Arizona executive vice president and a journalism junior.
Religious studies sophomore Rachel Tie said she attended the fair because she was looking for an internship that was work related.
"I hope it's not just getting coffee for someone else," Tie said.
While some may think internships are not valuable, Craig Finfrock, a designated broker for Commercial Retail Advisors, was on hand at the fair and said a good internship provides good, practical experience that can set you apart from other job applicants.
"It's much more than having something on a resume. It's having practical experience that will make you an effective employee," Finfrock said. "I see kids come into our position as green as they can be. When they come out of it, they have so much more understanding about business."
If students missed yesterday's internship fair, they can always get help finding an internship at UA Career Services, said Susan Miller, marketing and special events coordinator for Career Services.
Career Services also offers one-on-one counseling, mock interviews and resume critiques for students who still need internship possibilities.
The Wildcat JobLink, career fairs and online lists are also good resources that can help students find the work experience they are looking for, Miller said.
But, Miller said, students have to take it upon themselves if they are to get the job they want.
"You have to be really proactive on these things," Miller said. "No one is going to hand it to you."
The event drew more than 300 students, 40 clubs and 35 businesses, Hertzog said, and she anticipates the professional internship fair in April will draw 2,000 students.