Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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  • A group of five college students dressed in business professional attire and nametag lanyards are standing outside on campus.

    Four Tips to Discover Internship Opportunities

    Tatum Settelmyer

    Making the decision to go to college can be a challenging one for many individuals. People pursue higher education for various reasons, often revolving around job opportunities and career support that can shape their future. It's crucial to keep your goals in mind throughout your college journey and understand why you're there. For me, the primary objective was to ensure job security and I knew getting a good internship experience would be important. Here are four tips that helped me discover internship opportunities.

    Engage in the Process

    The initial step in landing an internship is to proactively put yourself out there, starting as early as possible. Even if it's just for practice, engaging in this process prepares you for the real deal. Attending career fairs at your school, especially those tailored to your major, is a fantastic idea, as it demonstrates your proactive approach and a clear understanding of your priorities, even as a freshman. Drawing from my own experience as an accounting major, attending career fairs as a freshman allowed me to engage with prominent accounting firms.

    Be Professional

    During career fairs, presenting yourself professionally is crucial. Dress appropriately, bring resumes to distribute to those you engage with, and inquire about opportunities suitable for your age and experience level. Don't forget to smile, share a laugh, find common ground, and collect business cards. Once it is over, follow up with a polite email to leave a lasting impression for future encounters. Building connections at these events, even if the timing isn't perfect for internships, establishes a foundation for future opportunities and networking in the professional world.

    Build a Network

    Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find many internship opportunities during your freshman year. Joining an accounting and finance professional fraternity on campus exposed me to more networking opportunities, leading to numerous offers from top firms during my sophomore year. Joining other campus organizations outside your academic interest is another effective way to expand your network.

    Utilize LinkedIn

    Build your LinkedIn profile as soon as you start college and then use it to connect with everyone you meet at career fairs, professional organization events, etc. These connections may lead to job recommendations and offer insights into securing internships and jobs. I highly recommend connecting with as many people as possible on such platforms, expanding your network beyond the confines of your campus. This played a crucial role for me in securing a prestigious internship with the world's largest Big 4 accounting firm for the summer after my sophomore year. That was followed by a return offer, which set the stage for a seamless transition to a full-time job upon graduation!

    Securing that initial opportunity is undeniably challenging, but once you do, you're on the path to a potentially stable career. Even if you discover during an internship that it's not your ideal fit, the experience on your resume will undoubtedly set you apart in future job searches.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A large group of college students standing in front of an ornate Italian building.

    My Internship Abroad: Working and Eating My Way Across Italy

    Madison Butler

    My dream came true last summer, and I am still living in the past. I was able to do an international internship in Florence, Italy and what a trip it was! I was blessed with an opportunity to work with two brands, Steve Madden and UGG, to monitor global markets for new and upcoming styles and trends, import and export shoes (especially when preparing for Florence Men’s Fashion Week), and assist sales vendors in the English language.

    I was able to learn side-by-side with my coworkers to navigate international business and open my eyes to another part of the world. My coworkers welcomed me with open arms, and our first step was to try and tackle the language barrier. They were the kindest and most encouraging women that could welcome me in such a new environment. We became friends easily and I still talk to them today!

    Now don’t believe this blog will be all work no play! I am a huge foodie and Italy exceeded my expectations beyond belief, and they were pretty high to begin with. From the Florentine Bistec, to watching my pasta be cooked in an alfredo cheese wheel, I was able to experience every foodie’s dream: eating high quality and volume of great food. There were plenty of family style restaurants that had more outside seating than you can imagine, and the people-watching was top tier, too. Eating in front of the Duomo is a memory I will never forget.

    I mainly stayed in Florence throughout the summer for the internship, but I was able to travel all over Italy and even made my way to Austria and Hungary for a bit. The northern and southern parts of Italy were different but held the same atmosphere. The northern Tuscany region was rich with breathtaking views of rolling green hills and vineyards for miles (for my fellow U.S. residents I promise I am 21!). The southern part was all beach and ocean which did not disappoint at all.

    I was also able to visit Cinque Terre, which is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There was an array of multicolored houses and markets and sand all along the coastline. My camera roll is stacked and ready for reminiscing.

    I am here to tell you: if you are thinking of studying/working/going abroad, GO! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a student and tagging along with other students is a whole other experience itself. I will always remember my lovely summer in Italy and would not trade it for the world!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A vet tech holds a grey and white kitten wrapped in a towel.

    Embracing Your Journey: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Your Future

    Taylor Perline

    It takes a great deal of courage to finally take that step, make that phone call, or walk out that door. Many college students are studying in order to have successful careers once they graduate. Some may know exactly which direction they want to take, while others may only know a broader view of what they want their lives to look like. Regardless, it can be exceedingly difficult finding motivation to take risks and put ourselves into the situations we need to be in to turn our dreams into reality.

    Few Opportunities

    As a second-year undergraduate student that aspires to someday be accepted into vet school and obtain a degree in veterinary medicine, I know these emotions firsthand. Finding experience within my field was no easy feat. It seemed like no matter how many emails I sent or how many phone calls I made; nobody was looking for any assistance from a college student. In truth, I felt horribly behind my peers, who told of growing up on farms or having extensive animal experience since they were young. It made me begin to lose motivation and feel like I was never going to catch up.

    Everyone’s Path is Different

    It is essential to realize that everyone is on a unique path, and that progress happens at different paces. For me, that was this most recent summer. After what seemed like an endless number of back-and-forth calls, texts, and emails, I found myself gaining new experiences in my field that I never before dreamed of. For others, this may look like a new internship or shadowing opportunity. For me, I was able to begin working as a veterinary assistant at a local clinic, working as a volunteer/intern with farm animals, and shadowing a veterinarian that worked with horses. In these past months, I have learned more than I have in my entire life about my chosen field, and this has done nothing but encourage me to keep going and fight for what I believe in.

    Don’t Let Your Attitude Define Your Magnitude

    I would have never been able to gain this experience if I hadn’t been able to step out of the comfortable life that I was used to. Feeling anxious and behind in my career held me back but realizing that instead of viewing my lack of experience as a hinderance, I could embrace the learning process and approach each new experience with curiosity and enthusiasm.

    Today, I am so grateful to myself for taking that step. I hope to encourage others that they have the ability to pursue whatever they wish to in life. It means taking on new challenges, networking with those in your field, and waking up every morning with the ambition to learn. Anything is possible!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A computer generated graphic in which three human figures are helping each other climb a set of stairs.

    Leveling Up: Capitalizing on a Freshman Year Internship

    A’Georre Williams

    When I was a freshman in college, I had no idea what an internship was, how to obtain one, or the astonishing benefits that can be attained after completing one. If you are anything like I was that first year, being initially nervous about giving up your summer for an internship may seem daunting. Now I can say that having an internship during my freshman year was the best decision for my professional career and has helped me develop qualities and skills that will lead to the trajectory of my success. Here are five things that you can learn during your internship that will set you ahead!

    Career Exploration

    Internships are a fantastic method for students to familiarize themselves with the field they are interested in, and exploring is a crucial component of the college experience. Freshmen may choose a major while having no real idea what an actual career in that area will look like. Obtaining an internship during your freshman year will allow you to gain experience in your intended field and can help you determine if it's the correct field for you. Or you may learn that this could be the right field, but not the exact job you want to pursue anymore. Students who interned early are more likely to feel assured that they made the proper degree choice by the time they graduate.

    Network Establishment

    Internships are a useful method to widen your professional network. Professional contacts you meet could be the most important link to your future employment, so having genuine and authentic relationships with your employer and co-workers is essential. Put simply, performing your best work will speak for itself and will make it easy for others to advocate for you in the future. Also, your intern supervisors can be useful in the future for recommendations and referrals, so making a good impression can be beneficial.

    Real-World Experience

    One of the most significant advantages of internships is the invaluable hands-on job experience that is provided, which cannot be achieved in a classroom setting. Interns have the chance to put their newly gained knowledge to use in real work situations while also getting a firsthand look at the typical tasks associated with their chosen sector. The opportunity to work on actual projects that benefit the company is not only surreal but insightful. Interns gain skills including communication and teamwork, in addition to the specialized knowledge of a certain industry, which helps prepare them for the workforce after graduation.

    Skills Training

    An internship is a great way to discover your talents and limitations. Internships provide unique learning experiences and allow for feedback from supervisors and others who are established in the industry. You may not have that type of opportunity once you’re in a full-time role. Get the most out of your internship training experience by asking questions, paying attention, and taking chances. Also developing those hard skills specifically catered to your major can help with future employment and opportunities.

    Financial Compensation

    Lastly, having an internship during your freshman year could potentially lead to financial compensation. Some students have unpaid internships which can still offer great opportunities to learn and develop. But more and more companies realize the value in offering paid internships. Being paid for performing tasks and projects for a job that you enjoy gives you a preview of what your future career can entail. Having money to pay for school and to save for the following school year is also a bonus.

    Overall, having an internship early has so many positive factors that will benefit you professionally and personally. Taking that first step will not only help you build your confidence but will also assist you in piloting a triumphant career!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • Two college interns sitting on an office couch looking at a laptop screen.

    Making the Most of your Internship Experience

    Mariam Ameha

    You finished applying, got through the interview process, and have received your acceptance letter. Now what? Preparing for an internship can be stressful, especially if it's your first time completing one. Whether your goal is to secure a full-time return offer or you want to gauge a feel for a new industry, an internship is a valuable experience and time for growth. It can be difficult to adjust for someone who has little-to-no experience in a professional setting. This is why it's important to form strategies that can be applied throughout the experience to build your skills and make you a more confident college student as you prepare for your career. Here are four ways to be successful as an intern and leave a lasting impact.

    1. Set goals

    Prior to starting your internship, you should think about what you want to learn during your time there. Once you connect with your manager, you should set more role-specific goals to measure your success. And it does not end there. Many people forget to review and note if they’re actually hitting their goals until the end of the internship, which can lead to added stress. Try checking in weekly or bi-weekly and listing your achievements somewhere, using a journal, for example. This will be very helpful as you recap what you’ve accomplished during midpoint or final evaluations! Keeping notes on what you have done will also be invaluable when writing a resume because you’ll want to include specific details and log any metrics that show your impact.

    2. Self-Advocate

    In any job, you will learn that actively seeking opportunities is the best way to get them. If there are specific projects that catch your eye, ask if you can be involved and do anything to help out. Although you are an intern, your time is just as important as others’ time at the organization, so be realistic about what you can handle in terms of workload. One common mistake made by interns is not following up after asking for something, in fear of bothering busy people. However, if you make a request to someone and do not get a response, kindly follow up after waiting an appropriate amount of time. Chances are that the initial request just slipped through the cracks!

    3. Be receptive to all feedback

    As an intern, you may receive both positive and negative feedback. Feedback is a gift, so try to remain open-minded to constructive criticism from your manager or other colleagues. You are there to learn, so put your best foot forward and ask how you can do better in your role. Once you receive this information, make sure to actively work on your weaknesses so you can show improvement by the end of the program. Being an intern does not mean you are not allowed to also share feedback. Communicate with your manager and respectfully let them know if you are missing tools needed to help you be successful, because they cannot read your mind! This will also show your initiative and leadership, as you are stepping up and have the ability to improve the program for future interns.

    4. Build your network!

    You may get caught up in a routine of working solo on your computer but remember that your internship time is limited. This is a valuable time to build your connections and get to know different people at your company. Even if someone is not in your team or specific department, you can learn about various areas of interest and potentially find something that aligns more with your goals. Find a good balance between your usual workload and networking. To avoid burnout, you can set a goal of speaking to a certain amount of people a week. During my summer internship this year, I aimed to connect with 1-2 new people weekly, and set up meetings to ask questions and learn about various departments. This led to many new connections and more clarity about my career goals. If you are in a cohort of interns, take this time to form long-lasting relationships and socialize! This can be through coffee chats (especially if your internship is virtual) or asking to grab lunch together at the office. Take advantage of company-wide social events as well, since this will let you mingle with people you otherwise would not cross paths with through your day-to-day work.

    Internships can fly by, and you want to be able to look back at the end and feel confident that you did the best that you could. Plan ahead, ask questions, and conquer your internship!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • Four college students standing arm-in-arm in a college building hallway.

    Everything Happens for a Reason

    Tahmina Tisha

    “Everything happens for a reason.” Oh, how many times have I heard this phrase after getting rejected by fifteen companies for an internship? It is a stressful feeling when you were the smartest kid in high school but suddenly when you transition to college you are no longer the smart one. You start competing with people that are on the same level as you and now you have imposter syndrome. Rejection is something I did not encounter until I started college. I did not quite understand this concept of ‘everything happens for a reason’ until something good finally came along.

    As a responsible college student, I felt heartbroken and insecure with each rejection on an internship application, especially since I felt I had tried my best, stayed active in school, and had a better than average academic performance. Was there something wrong with my accent, my style? Was I somehow not smart enough for these jobs? There are many times I wanted to give up and never try again for an internship, job, or even a leadership position. That is when I encountered mental health problems.

    It is not fun to be depressed and sad and stressed all the time. It affected my academic progress. I could not concentrate in school because I felt like it was pointless. However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Coming from a South Asian household, I have seen my immigrant parents who came to this unknown land, having the same feeling where they are lost and stressed. No idea where they might get their next meal. I used their hardship as my inspiration to never give up and to keep moving forward. I utilized three techniques to overcome my rejection by continuing to: move forward, keep trying, and networking.

    Moving forward

    When it comes to rejection, it is best to move forward because taking things personally will not help you move forward in life. You can be sad and depressed all day, but that won’t help you get the job that you desperately want. Yes, rejection may be the worst feeling, but opportunities are always within our reach. Learning to trust the process is the biggest confidence boost anyone can ever have.

  • A screengrab of a virtual networking event held on Zoom.

    Ace the Interview to Land that Job or Internship!

    Geeta Chandaluri

    Searching for an internship or a job as a college student can certainly be very stressful. There are many moving parts from building a perfect resume, marketing yourself, meeting the right people, and sometimes being lucky enough. While considering all factors that are supposed to go right to land a position, it is hard to stay mentally sane. Do not feel alienated if you feel pressure, it is common to get stressed when starting your career.

    I am a college senior, and I have been down the “applying to a job” road several times before. One thing that all jobs have in common is interviewing. Interviewing is one of the important steps to landing a job. So here are some tips on how to stay poised while applying and interviewing!

    1. Identify What You Want

    There are an astonishing number of jobs out there; meaning that there are many paths for you to choose. When applying you need to list out your goals and intentions. Do you want something to make some money? Do you want an educational experience that relates to the industry that you are interested in? Do you want to meet new people and network? There are no right or wrong answers, all you need to do is sit down and brainstorm a list of your priorities.

    2. “The Perfect” Resume

    Many people may apply for the same opening you did, especially if it is a huge corporation. To make the hiring process manageable, many firms tend to process resumes through a “software”. This is not a reason to be intimidated; all you need to do is make sure you use keywords in your resume that demonstrate both hard and soft skills. And the last thing you want is for your resume to be thrown out because of spelling errors, so make sure your grammar and formatting are a hundred percent accurate. Run your resume by a friend or a family member to make sure it is the perfect version of your resume.

    3. Research The Role

    After you submit your resume, you may get a call for an interview. This is an achievement itself, but now the real work begins. Make sure you research your firm and the role. This helps you better formulate your answers and tie them back to why you are interested in the role to begin with. It shows the employer that you are interested in the job because you spent time learning about it.

    4. Prep

    Interview prepping can be difficult as it is impossible to know what questions you will be asked. However, good preparation is simply knowing yourself. Think about all the times when you had to be a leader or made an impact, take these stories, and convert them into potential answers that demonstrate various desirable skills. Interviewing is all about marketing yourself; the better you tell your story, the more memorable you will be.

    5. Stay Poised

    In addition to preparing for the interview make sure you eat well and get a good night's rest. It is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally because it reduces stress and nervousness.

    Interviewing for a job or internship is daunting, but with enough preparation, you will be able to speak eloquently in front of your future employer. When you are familiar with what stories you want to tell and ideas you want to express, the interview will start to feel more like a conversation.

    Want to read more on this topic from other students? Check out these blogs on finding and securing an internship, making the most of your internship experience, and more advice on interview prep.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A college student’s computer monitor and keyboard. The monitor screen shows two open windows, one featuring a financial spreadsheet and the other featuring the home page of a financial institution.

    Finding and Securing an Awesome Summer Internship

    Cobe Fatovic

    Most college students have been asked, “do you have any internships lined up?” While internships are certainly not for everyone, they are common among college students. They are a great way to learn about areas you may be working in down the line. Finding and securing an internship is arguably one of the most stressful parts of college. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding parts.

    The Search

    Often, the hardest part of finding an internship can be the search. This can be a daunting task when you don’t even know where to begin. The easiest place I found to look was simply Google. If you type in, “Summer 2022 Internships in (whatever you are looking for)” there are a ton of results. If something interests you, then apply! You can always turn down interviews later down the line, but you might as well keep your options open. If you have a better idea of what you want to be doing, then skip Google and try searching on LinkedIn or through a job search website through your university. I found that many companies through my school’s portal were more responsive than just cold applying on Google. If you know exactly what you want to be doing, then go directly to your favorite company’s website. Normally, you can navigate to a careers page, where you will be able to see all their open job opportunities and internships. There are many ways to find internships, but I think a combination of all of them is the best strategy.

    Resume

    Now you have narrowed it down to a few opportunities that interest you. That is great, but how do you go about standing out from all the other applicants? Your resume is vital to securing an interview. It is very important to have multiple people read and edit your resume. One small grammatical error is all a company needs to toss your resume in the trash. Have your parents, grandparents, friends, and professors edit it. My strategy was to have family and friends go over it first to catch the grammatical errors. Once I knew it was free of these errors, I had trusted adults at my university edit it. It is a better use of their time to find ways to improve the content and phrasing of your resume rather than finding grammatical or formatting errors that your family could have caught. The more eyes on your resume, the better.

    Interview Process

    Finally, the interview process. This is where you get to stand out and show your personality. Interviews are for the interviewer to judge your fit in the company, but also for you to judge whether you want to work for the company. I found that my best interviews were always the ones where I connected with the interviewer. In terms of preparation, repetition is the most important thing. Practice with older students and friends in mock interviews. This will help you get used to speaking about yourself and your experiences. Finally, just be yourself! It is important to ask genuine questions and try to get to know the company. If the role is meant for you, it will naturally work itself out.

    The most important thing through the whole process is remaining positive and confident in yourself despite rejection letters. A rejection to a company does not reflect your ability to do an internship. There is a job for everyone out there, it is just a matter of finding the right one. Good luck!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A female college student sits in a saucer-type red chair with a laptop in her lap. There is a large window behind her, a low round table in front of her and the chair next to her is empty.

    Balancing School, Work, Internships, and Interviews

    Rukmini Waranashiwar

    When first starting college, I always looked forward to having a relaxing senior year; however, that did not turn out to be the case. What I hoped to be an easy semester turned into me taking 12 credit hours, managing a Pearson micro-internship, working as a Pearson Campus Ambassador (PCA), and interviewing for full-time jobs. My life became incredibly busy. Although it seems like a lot, my past experiences taught me how to manage my time wisely.

    Increasing Responsibility

    This was not the first time I had to handle a chaotic schedule. During the Spring semester of my junior year, I took 18 credit hours, worked as a PCA, and completed an internship with a search fund. During that time, the best thing I did to manage school and work was to prepare for exams at least a week in advance. Since I would have multiple exams a week, internship deadlines, and PCA projects all coinciding, I couldn’t spend all day studying for an exam anymore. Learning how to space out my studying was extremely integral to my being able to manage other responsibilities on top of school.

    Helpful Habits

    The habits I built during that time made me confident that I could handle all that senior year had to throw at me. I’d learned how to space out studying so I could balance my academics and maintain my GPA, while still being able to keep up with other commitments. Another habit that helped me was to put all due dates onto a Google or Outlook calendar. I have a hard time keeping up with a written planner, however I am always on my laptop. Having those notifications pop up for things like internship meetings, job meetings, and even classes is super helpful. I keep up with all my deadlines and make to do lists for day-to-day tasks. Being organized is genuinely the most important thing to manage several projects at once.

    And something interesting I learned during these heavy semesters is that I work more efficiently when I have more to do. Having many deadlines helps me get things done faster because I know I don’t have much time to procrastinate. When I was in high school and my only focus was on school, I wasn’t as efficient with my time because I didn’t need to be.

    Although taking on more responsibility may seem daunting, it has proven to be rewarding. Both my PCA position and Pearson internship have provided me with so much experience to talk about during my job interviews.

    Take Time for Yourself

    Now in my final semester, I’m finding that carrying out a job search can feel like a full-time job on its own: preparing for interviews, updating my resume, and applying to jobs in between classes and during lunch. The best thing I’ve done for myself this semester is build time in to take breaks, like hanging out with friends, exercising, and treating myself to some ice cream. Taking care of your mental health is important to maintain your best self. I’m extremely thankful for all of opportunities I have had throughout my college career and hope to apply what I’ve learned during these busy semesters post-college.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!