Minority Engineer Magazine, launched in 1979, is a career- guidance and recruitment magazine offered at no charge to qualified engineering or computer-science students and professionals who are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian American. Minority Engineer presents career strategies for readers to assimilate into a diversified job marketplace.
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Five Hacks for Transforming Internships into Careers
It’s no secret that some fields are tougher to break into than others - and in some cases much tougher! Career success - especially in a competitive industry - often comes down to the relationships you’ve cultivated and having an ironclad work ethic. And if you don't know anybody in your desired field, then you have to build your own connections.
Internships can be your ticket to that opportunity, and more importantly, they give you an authentic picture of the industry in which you’re interested.
So what can you do to secure key internships and make the most these opportunities? Here are five tips to help you get - and excel in - the internships that will take you far:
1. Start Interning Early and Cast a Wide Net: First, identify five to 12 organizations within your fields of choice where you’d like to intern. Plan to do multiple internships and begin as early as possible. Take on two internships at a time if you can - three days a week at one internship, and two at another. This immersion greatly increases your aptitude within the field, ensures your skills are up to date, and expands your network - all of which heighten your chances of landing an ideal job when the time comes.
2. Take Every Single Possible Opportunity to Work: Here’s a general guideline to remember at your internship: Do everything that’s asked of you (within ethical reason, of course) and do all of the things you say you’ll do. These traits alone will get you farther faster in the long run.
3. Look, Listen and Observe: Once you've accomplished all that’s been asked of you at your internship, take a good look around. Listen carefully, pay attention and pick up on company and industry culture cues. By doing all this - any time you have free time at work - you’ll figure out what you can do to help out.
4. Commit Now to the Smart Habits You’re Creating: Know that between school, your internships, a part-time job and social time, you’re developing world-class time management skills. Your busy schedule right now will be a huge benefit to your future adult responsibilities such as commuting, grocery shopping, doing household tasks, managing a social life and working full-time. Rest assured the work ethic and efficient time management skills you develop early on will pay off for your career and life in the long run. So stay busy and stay responsible.
5. Take Care of Yourself: It’s hard to do your best work or stand out from the crowd when you’re feeling generally lethargic, lazy and sluggish. On the other hand, people perform best when they’re of sound mind, body and spirit. So be sure to get enough sleep, eat well and move your body enough to stay healthy and capable of handling your workload and schedule.
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