By SEAN ROWLEY
When entering the workforce, one frustration which might be confronted is employers’ insistence on job experience even for entry-level positions.
Hence the importance of internships while still in school. On Thursday, Northeastern State University’s Career Services hosted its Internship Fair in the Rozell Ballroom of the University Center.
“This is the first time we have held a dedicated Career Services event for internships,” said Autumn Stafford, career events specialist. “We have always included internship opportunities with our other job fairs.”
The fair - organized principally for those with NSU ties - networked participating businesses and organizations with students and alumni looking for internship opportunities.
“I am attending because I want to ask the recruiters how my major would apply to their companies,” said Danwei Zhang, a freshman marketing major from China visiting the City of Muskogee booth.
Speaking with Zhang at the booth was Pam Webb, human resources specialist.
“Muskogee attends these NSU events all the time,” Webb said. “They give us an opportunity to make connections with students. The city has an array of career possibilities and we want students to be aware of what we have available.”
Registered organizations for the fair numbered 28 and included private, public and tribal entities.
Stafford said the reasons were numerous for students to consider and undertake internships.
“The number one reason is to gain work experience,” she said. “Many employers expect you to acquire experience while you are in school. They like to see that you were able to commit to something, that you worked hard and were dedicated. That is the reason our office and the university are really pushing the students to get internships - so they have that experience under their belts.”
Internships also allow students to network within the professions they plan to enter.
“They get to know people and employers while they are working part-time, and that can lead to something full time,” Stafford said.
Students call also learn about the general expectations and responsibilities which are present throughout the workforce.
“They can become comfortable in a work environment,” Stafford said.
“An internship is that perfect place where everyone knows you are a student. You’re allowed to make some mistakes - it’s expected of you. You can learn not to make those mistakes before you graduate.”
Career Services often hosts events, such as its teacher and job fairs, each spring and fall semester. Stafford said the internship fair would be an annual event, and likely held during fall terms though most internships are during the summer.
“We actually polled the recruiters,” she said. “They told us a fall fair would be better. Many businesses schedule their internships, or even hire for them, during the previous fall.”
Stafford said NSU hosts five career events during each academic year, and suggested employers register for upcoming fairs.
The Career Services page can be visited at www.nsuok.edu/ career services.
Visit www.tahlequahTDP.com to read an online exclusive about Career Services’ Popup Week, which promotes the office and its affairs.