As seniors embark on their last semester at Fairfield University, they’ve got a lot of things on their minds. What do I want to do with my life? What sets me apart from everyone else?

It’s time to update that resume. What makes one student stand out from another? Grades and extracurricular activities, of course. When entering the actual work force, one actually needs work experience. Herein lies the importance of the internship.

“Something that really got your engine revving academically can turn out disappointing in the real world,” said Kevin Ashe’11. “Interning helps you figure out what really drives you.”

Fairfield University provides students with hundreds of opportunities to intern based on their curriculum. The program is different per major, with some requiring 120 logged hours, others fewer.

The Post Graduation Report for 2009 reports that a total of 402 internships were completed by Fairfield University students for credit. As a result, internships rated 27.2% as a source of employment. Fairfield University also uses Experience, the web-based college recruiting system used by more than 500 career centers. Students from 2009 gained employment in this way by 37.9%

According to the Career Planning website, students have the option to take internships in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering. Companies such as GE Capital, JP Morgan Chase, Random House and NYU Medical Center are just a few of the options.

“Internships allow you to meet so many new people,” said Kara Halligan’11. “Even if you don’t choose to follow that career path, the networking alone is helpful.”

Internships give students the opportunity to not only learn more about their field but also gain hands on experience, building their people skills along with their work skills. “I think it’s more important than ever for students to have at least one internship, but multiple internships are even better. Employers find it critical to have experience. Many of them flat out require it,” said Cath Borgman, Director of Career Planning.

Interning also gives students the actual experience of being a working adult. From train schedules to making sure you get to sleep on time, internships give students a dose of the real world.

The Career Planning Center is located in the Kelley Center. They offer info sessions, resume help, interviewing practice as well as recruiting and internship help. With over 86% of last year’s senior class employed, earning an average of around 45,000 a year, its definitely worth your while to take a visit.

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