Our parents’ days of good grades in college coupled with a few minimum-wage jobs are over and the era of the unpaid internships is upon us. According to the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development website, “The number one criteria employers seek in recent hires is prior internship experience.” Enter Associate Director of Internship Opportunities Robert DiCarlo, the creator of the GOLD workshop “Finding an Internship.” Along with junior Skye Cardona and senior Carissa Gagliardi, this workshop gives students advice and resources to find and successfully apply for internships.
Utilizing DiCarlo’s experience as a mentor along with Cardona and Gagliardi’s advice as students and peers, the workshop gives a comprehensive analysis of exactly what students can do independently to get the internship experience they need.
DiCarlo created this workshop last fall after being overwhelmed with student appointments, all with similar questions and concerns. He originally created separate workshops for different career fields such as health services or psychology, but chose to whittle it down to a “nuts and bolts” workshop that applied to all students.
“It basically focuses in on how to find an internship, what are the resources that are available and how we can support the students so that they’re successful in finding an internship,” DiCarlo said.
Finding and working multiple internships is key to eventually landing a job you love. This workshop tackles the obvious and constantly avoided first step: taking the initiative to start looking for an internship.
The workshop is set up as a round table discussion led by DiCarlo, who walks students through seemingly endless web resources that can be used to find internships.
“It helped me find an internship,” Gagliardi said. “The websites we go through in the PowerPoint are what students need to take away from it.”
What many students don’t realize is just how much free information is already available to them. The workshop isn’t necessarily created with the intentions of personally finding every participant a place to work, it’s showing them the tools they have at their fingertips so that they can independently search for and attain internships.
Cardona and Gagliardi, who have both interned at multiple businesses, assisted DiCarlo in the presentation by sharing their own internship experiences to make the session more relevant and relatable.
“We really take the content on the slides and relate it to our own internship experience,” Cardona said. This workshop’s relevance is only growing now that almost every major requires one or more internships to enter the job market. But while getting hired is important, internships address a more personal question as well: can I see myself in this type of career?
“It’s important because a lot of the time you think you’re very interested in something and you go in and an internship either solidifies this interest or deters you from it,” Cardona said.
This workshop occurs almost every Wednesday throughout the semester, and each one can hold up to 25 students. Students can register online on the Geneseo GOLD website.
“It’s an opportunity to take what you learn here at Geneseo and apply it to the rest of the world,” Gagliardi said.