Although most CSUN students are aware of the opportunities that internships provide, they have their own reasons for not having completed them.
“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do,” said junior marketing major Jeff Felix. He has not completed an internship because he is considering changing his major to communications, he said, adding that he will complete an internship in the future depending on the major he decides on.
Others students, like junior business major Maria Sanchez, have busy schedules. She works full-time and also cares for her 7-month-old son, and said that her schedule could keep her from completing an internship.
Some faculty members recognize the conflict of having a tight schedule, but stress that students can find ways to get an internship that will work.
“You’re thinking that you don’t have enough time,” said Janice Potzmann, an assistant director in the Career Center. “Sometimes there is a way to balance things. I wouldn’t choose an internship when you have 18 units. You have to think about time management and balance.”
She said the Career Center helps students fit an internship into their schedule.
Other students know about internships, but simply have not taken the steps to get one.
Junior history major Rafael Novoa said a “lack of trying” keeps him from obtaining an internship.
Novoa plans to complete an internship in his major before he graduates, noting that students should try to put forth the effort to find out more.
“You got to get informed,” he said. “I’ve known of internships, but I’ve never like, tried to find out more about them or how to get them.”
Students may not have completed internships because they do not realize the importance of them related to careers, Potzmann said.
“Employers are looking for students with experience, and one of the best ways to get that experience is through an internship because internships are different from a part-time job,” she said.
Not everyone at CSUN feels the same way.
“I don’t think an internship will help much. I have experience already in my job,” said junior television production major Eris Jenergeni, adding that he is trying to get a job before he graduates. If he does not get a job before graduation, he said he would then consider an internship.
Nevertheless, internships are offered within in a variety of departments at CSUN. Colleges offering internships include: Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, Humanities, and the College of Business and Economics.
Sociology, international business and business management majors require students to complete internships prior to graduation. All colleges offer some type of experiential education for students, Potzmann said.
In addition, internships provide an opportunity for students to make connections and network with people.
“When you go into a company, and they know that you are an intern, they know that you are learning. Doors open up for you that wouldn’t normally open up for someone (who) is in a part-time job,” Potzmann said. She noted that students should not only do their job, but also go above and beyond by helping out and asking questions.
Other faculty members offer the same advice for students during an internship.
“The best thing that students can do in an internship is observe,” said Kristen Walker, director of internship programs at the College of Business and Economics.
Walker explained that about 30 percent of the college’s interns have been hired after completing an internship.
Potzmann suggests students talk to friends and family about internships, as well as register online with the Career Center in order to access its services.
The Career Center offers students help with resumes, finding internships and career-related part-time jobs, fellowships, counseling, networking opportunities, and information on events like job fairs is also available.
Some upcoming events are an education expo on Feb. 28, a spring job fair on March 13, and “Resumanias” on Feb. 20 and May 9.
“Internships offer more than experience to move on, but also help students develop personally as well,” Potzmann said.