Interning provides critical job connections

Many students hope to have a full-time job after graduation, and Neeley School of Business Internship Director Laura Barclay said that should be the goal and the best result of an internship.

Barclay said one of the benefits of internships was the connections students made while working as interns.

“Internships serve as a great way to make connections to individuals that can serve as mentors and references in the future,” she said.

Assistant Director of Employee Relations Susan Sledge said building a big network benefitted students when they began searching for a job.

Sledge said networking was also important for job-searching students because not all jobs were advertised.

“Most jobs are hidden,” she said. “Most jobs don’t make it to a job posting.”

Connections can come from various places, Barclay said, such as campus organizations, TCU alumni, networking events on campus and career fairs.

“Connections are everything,” said Lindsey Orta, a senior sports broadcasting major. Orta interned on the video board crew for the Dallas Cowboys’ last fall.

She looked for experience and a good mentor in an internship, Orta said. She said she found that with the Cowboys internship and with her supervisor, CowboysVision Producer Matt Coy.

Sledge said The TCU Intern Network was new tool available to students in the College of Communication and helped students with both the pre-interview process and employee relations. Students in the College of Communication were the test subjects for the network because they were most likely to seek internships, she said.

The pre-interview side of the network worked to build resumes and to practice interviewing skills, Sledge said. The employee relations side dealt with employers who wanted university students for an internship.

This new system allowed for students to network with more ease, she said, and she hoped to have the network available to all students in the near future.

Broc Sears, Schieffer School of Journalism internship director, said internship experience made graduates more appealing to hire. Graduates were better prepared for the job market if they had internship experience.

Sears also said the company running the internship should be strong as well. Researching the company was essential to ensure a student had a strong learning experience within the company, he said.

Barclay said a great way to research companies was to do an “informational interview.” A quality internship had good supervision that provided regular feedback and guidance, she said.