Internship career advice

Spencer Forthuber is a recent graduate from Boise State University, originally from Eureka, California. After obtaining his A.S. in Business from College of the Redwoods, Spencer moved to Boise, Idaho where he graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing. During his time at Boise State he worked part time jobs and participated in intramural sports. He loves exercising, camping, and jumping out of planes.

It seemed like before I knew it my last semester of college was upon me. I had spent so much time working on school projects, meeting new people, and playing intramural sports that graduation had crept up on me. I found myself scared and unsure where my life was headed. While in school, I chose to take a part time job as a server to pay the bills and keep myself busy. Fast forward a month after graduation, I had been laid off from my server job, and was desperately seeking income. My education had taught me so many useful skills, but my lack of experience in related fields was holding me back.
Relatively soon after I was laid off I found a job as a leasing consultant for an apartment complex. I was grateful for the opportunity and needed the income severely, but there was still something missing. This was a good job, but it wasn’t where my passion lied. Being that I was only working about 30 hours a week, I knew I possessed a somewhat flexible schedule. I’ve always been very passionate about sports, so I decided to pursue something in that industry.
The job market for the sports industry was slim and I was having no luck. It dawned on me then that what I should be concerned most with was “getting my foot in the door” with an organization. I started looking at internships for local sports teams and found some that had to do with marketing (my major). Although they were advertised for students, I took the time to draft a well-written cover letter and tailored my resume for each opportunity. I wrote an email to the recruiters of each and made sure to explain to them how I wasn’t a student, but was a marketing graduate who has a passion for sports. To my surprise, both emailed back. We set up interviews and I landed both marketing internships. I now work my leasing day job, and at nights take part in my internships. Both are unpaid, but I absolutely love the work I get to do and have fun doing so.
What I learned from these experiences is that it is never too late to get an internship. Even if you have already graduated college you should still consider internships because they will grow your network. I still work my day job, but am using these internships to network and establish as many connections as I can. These internships might not land me a job with either one of the organizations, but they allow me to build my brand and explore other options. By surrounding myself with people in the industry I see a career in, I can establish connections and form valuable relationships. Use your internship(s) to network and meet people. These people could be the ones that help land you a job or an interview in the future. This was something I overlooked in my college career, but now see the value in. It took until after graduation to obtain an internship and “get my foot in the door” but I’m so glad I never gave up.

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