Career & Tools
Are you considering an internship while studying at UCSB? Earlier this month, we reached out to current UCSB graduate students and asked them to sit on a panel to discuss the importance of their internship experience while being enrolled as a full-time student. Here we offer a summary of what our panelists were asked and share a glimpse of what they had to say.
Earlier this month, we reached out to ââcurrent UCSB graduate students and asked them to sit on a panel to discuss the importance of their internship experience while being enrolled as a full-time student. Our panelists âoffered advice on how to make time for an internship, how to apply, and âhow to get the most out of âit. We were joined by Luke Janes (PhD, Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology), Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski (PhD, Theater and Dance), Reza Salemmilani (PhD, Mechanical Engineering), and Matt Panopio (MA, Environmental Science and Management).
Here we offer a âsummary of what our panelists were asked and share a glimpse of what they had to say:
How much time did you spend researching internship opportunities? What were some important things to consider when choosing an internship?
First focus on organizations that you know and would want to work with. Make sure that your goals align with these companies before applying. âFind a past intern thatâ you may have a connection to and reach out to them for an informational interview to ask them about their experience working for the company. Find one thing that you really admire about the company and figure out how you could âadd that âto what you âwould bring to the organizationâ. How can you help direct their mission with your research or prior experience? âIf a company is developing a new product or launching a new campaign, get familiar with it and bring it up in the interview. Do your homework!
How âdid you prepare for âyour interview?
Before going to an interview, make sure you have your strengths and weaknesses mapped out. Remember to discuss how you are working on your weaknesses or how you get around them in the workplace. Talk about your story and what you hope to gain from the internship. People like stories, so maâke them/their organization part of your story if you can. Finally, be prepared to ask questions about the organization, showing the interviewer that you've done your research. You never know how successful an interview âwill be, so all you can do is be yourself and stay calm!
âWere you prepared for your internship? What if I don't have all the skills necessary for an internship I am applying for?
As a UCSB graduate student, you should be confident in your skill set. âYour classes and advisors make âyou smart and capable, and you will have time to learn any new skills upon entry of an internship. Havâing a good internship supervisor will give you the resources you need to overcome new challenges, and that supervisor could become âa mentor âthroughout your career. You never know what challenges you will face in a new position, but the most important thing is to remain confident and use the problem-solving skills that you have gained alreadyâ.
Did you gain any new perspective on your career from your internship?
Graduate school gives you basic skills, but does not prepare you completely for a role in industry. Internships help with this and can give you a better understanding of the field that âyou have dedicated âyour research to. It can also be beneficial to âhave a mentor âwho is not related to the internship so that âyou can have periodic check ins about âyour experience as it relates to your career.
Do you have any final advice for those currently considering an internship?
Internships in graduate school are extremely valuable. Internships not only show you what you like to do, but maybe even more importantly show you what you don't like to do. Think about your values and your vision of your career and ask yourself: am I meeting my core values and passions? Your work experience is just as, if not more important than your school experience and both will help you advance in different ways throughout your career. In searching for internships, always check LinkedIn and make sure to network, network, network! The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities will arise.
Thank you to all of our amazing panelists for sharing their insight with us!
Graduate Student Internship Fellowship
For those who don't already know, UCSB offers a Graduate Student Internship Fellowship to assist graduate students with attaining experience related to career goals and professional development without the financial strain. The Graduate Student Internship Fellowship will be awarded to students who demonstrate how their Summer or Fall 2019 internship/work experience will be impactful for their career trajectory and demonstrate financial need. This year we are offering up to five $2,000-2,500 fellowships for students who receive low or nonâ-paid internships while attending UCSB.
For more information, please click here.
Have questions? Email GradStudentInternshipFellowship@sa.ucsb.edu
Applications are open until March 17!