Archive for Friday, May 29, 1998

JOBS, INTERNSHIPS INCREASE COMPETITIVE EDGE

May 29, 1998

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Students who aren't majoring in disciplines that offer internships should try to find one or become involved in a student organization, a KU official says.

Graduates who have served internships or even been involved with student organizations will stand a better chance of landing a job.

``The market's good and everything, but it gives you that competitive edge,'' said Ann Hartley, associate director of the Career and Employment Services at Kansas University.

``We push really hard to have students do internships.''

About 50 companies are working with KU in a state-funded work-study program.

KU students work in internship positions at law firms, pharmacies, architectural offices and other businesses through the program.

``It works out for students because they get the experience and it works out for businesses because they get employees who are eager to learn,'' Hartley said.

One of those students, Jessica Gibson, a senior in broadcast journalism from Lawrence, served an internship this spring semester at the Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth.

Gibson sold advertising and wrote articles for the bimonthly ``Arts in Action'' newspaper insert.

``I was able to write articles that were published, and that was a really neat experience,'' she said.

Gibson said she felt that the internship would give her an advantage over other potential applicants for jobs.

``Not only because of the things I was able to do but I think any kind of internship is beneficial because it shows you took the initiative ... and it shows you can manage your time,'' Gibson said.

Mike Pritchard, director of the Lawrence Job Service Career Center, 833 Ohio, said internships are valuable, if students can land them.

``It just depends on what field you're in,'' he said. ``Any kind of experience that you can get is going to be beneficial. It's a real selling point with employers.''

Hartley said many students, especially those students majoring in liberal arts fields, will have a difficult time finding an internship in their fields.

``Even if they're involved with campus organizations, that leadership experience will help,'' she said. ``That helps a lot, even though it may not even be directly related to their field.''

Hartley said not having an internship won't keep graduates from landing a job.

``It won't kill you, but it's going to be a little bit harder to sell yourself before somebody who's had that experience. It definitely helps,'' she said.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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