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Karol Lejmback encourages finding a job in field of interest
While initially for medical school graduates, the concept of an internship is now very common across many other academic disciplines. Internships include any official or formal program that provides practical experience in an occupation or profession. Without one, a college experience is no longer considered complete.
A transfer student from the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL, Karol Lejmback, is completing his dual major in computer science and mathematics at University of Wisconsin–Parkside. He was able to achieve success on his first attempt when attending last October’s Internship Fair.
While Lejmback focused on only one item, the internship fair, it can be beneficial to look at other avenues. Conducting a multipronged approach broadens your reach, which increases the odds in favor of achieving your goal. This could be contacting your department head, or if available, the department internship advisor. Exploring the internship page under the Advising and Career Center is a great starting point and is packed with good content.
Following the adage of dressing for success, Lejmback dressed professionally, in a shirt and tie with dress pants and leather shoes. This presentation reinforced the cool confidence he wanted to project walking from table to table, and that was a good strategy.
A contact from the Advising & Career Center shared, “Often, an internship search would mirror the job search graduates often complete.” The internship experience can share the struggles found in a professional job search, such as not being able to connect with a solid contact or not finding a good fit between a company and the interested party.
But when Lejmback wandered over and started talking with someone at one of the tables, he hit the jackpot. “I just sold myself as best I could,” he said. The person he chatted with turned out to be the CEO. Since the company primarily provides software support, and hardware and software solutions for local businesses, their focus aligned well with his. Another tidbit Lejmback shared is to “look for weird places, corporate atmosphere isn’t always the norm.”
When speaking about what he thought qualified him for this position, the first thing that Lejmback mentioned was his experience with running Linux operating systems followed by coding he has done relating to his coursework in computer science. He also felt he was good with clearly explaining tasks, quickly grasping the issue and effectively evaluating possible problems. His experience at Parkside tutoring others was attributed in developing and demonstrating these skills. So, here too Lejmback had an advantage.
Having both formal studies and activity outside the classroom to bring to the table is helpful since it usually presents one as a strong candidate. He also says, “Go with a job that interests you.”
Other advice Lejmback would offer to those looking for internships include highly recommending looking for companies that are interesting as well as not expecting to find something that includes a salary, as his internship is unpaid. However, the lack of payment does not need to limit your opportunity. In this situation, if the position is open upon completion of his internship, they have discussed offering him a contract and should he accept it, the job would then be his.
This article was submitted for print via Tannette Elie’s COMM 255 class.