Annual Internship Fair emphasizes importance of building connections

In lieu of internship application season, St. Edward’s hosted their annual Internship Fair this past week. This is the first year the Career and Professional Development department have held the event separate from the Job Fair. Mabee Ballroom was split in two: agencies looking for interns tabled in one half while the other half was used for panels.

Ray Roger, Director of Career and Professional Development, stressed the importance of internships during the student’s’ undergraduate career.

“We want students to have a realistic job preview,” Roger said.

Roger said the purpose of internships is twofold: for students to test out a career they’d possibly like to pursue, and apply classroom knowledge to a real world setting. Internships allow students to hone the skills they have been taught at the university.

Marcus Everett, Recruiting Manager, tabled for Enterprise, a company that has tabled for over 20 semesters at the St. Edward’s Internship Fair.

“We want to be beneficial to the students,” Everett said.

Everett helps students who approach him at internship fairs with more than just application advice. He also critiques their resume, if asked, and has helped students with other concerns, such as how to present themselves at job or internship interviews. Everett said he usually gives students career advice as well.

He hopes to hand students more than another internship application, but help them with other questions they may have and offer advice where he can.

“I want to make sure they take something away,” Everett said.

Several alumni were present tabling and representing their firms in order to directly connect with students who are in the same position they once were.

Vanessa Ramirez, ’17, tabled at the event with Latinitas where she is currently a design intern. She shared her advice about internships.

“Intern everywhere and as much as you can,” Ramirez said. “If you do not like it, it’s fine, it ends in three months.”

The internship fair is a very important place for networking, according to Roger. Students can establish connections with alumni and other tabling companies that can help them in their future career, even if they do not intern with them.

Students who intern during their undergraduate years get the advantage of an experience that can be necessary to find a job after graduating. Rogers explained that building a resume with several internship experiences allows students to market themselves for a job.

“Employers look for students with internships,” Rogers said.

Taylor Hertsenberg with the Texas Film Commission emphasized the importance for students to intern in fields they are interested in to learn if it is really something they enjoy. There are many more careers that students can apply their degrees to than they think.

“There is so much to learn about the outside world,” Hertsenberg said.

Ana Castelan from Cortez Consulting said she looks for students that show a lot of interest.

“We look for students very interested in positions and asking a lot of questions,” Castelan said.  

As for what recruiters look for in students, while every company has their own respective standards, they can all agree on quality stands out most in applicants: passion.