On-Campus Internships and Job Experience
I blog because I have an internship in the Office of Communications for Enrollment Management here at Illinois. (In other words, I work for the Office of Admissions.) It’s actually one of my many duties as editorial intern to blog, in addition to creating and editing emails/print pieces/website content and more random stuff, like hand modeling.
My internship is just one of many available on campus. They’re a great way to earn some money while in school and/or gain real-world experience to put on a resume or your grad school application.
And don’t be fooled by Champaign-Urbana’s location in central Illinois; this is a place where you can build a career. There’s not a single person I know here who’s been unable to find an internship or research or just a job on campus that’s relevant to their interests.
We have Research Park, where startups, tech companies, and Fortune 500 and 100 companies all intermingle right by our football stadium. Hundreds of interns work there from every college on campus, not just Business majors or Engineers! You can also find jobs with the different colleges and by forming relationships with the professors who teach your classes.
I have a friend who studies Journalism with a really cool public affairs internship at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. I have another friend who does Psychology research too technical for me to understand, AND he’s an undergrad with his own office in the Psychology Building.
Everywhere I turn, someone is doing something awesome. And these are people who just work hard and put themselves out there beyond the classroom. I genuinely believe anything you want to do on campus, any work experience you so desire, you can have here.
If there’s not an internship or job right now that seems to work for you, get experience volunteering. Join an RSO (registered student organization). These experiences can be highlights on your resume, too, and get you to where you want to go.
Or if you’re like me, never quite sure what you want to do career-wise, just follow where your interests lead. Add a dash of practicality, and make your mindset: “This sounds pretty cool, and it would probably make me a better writer/insert-a-marketable-skill-here. I should do it!”
Don’t worry about the opportunities you think Illinois lacks—worry about how you’re going to pick from the bunch.