Event Review: CED Internship Panel

There was a lively crowd at the CED internship panel hosted by AIAS, Alpha Rho Chi and the Peer Advisors Thursday, Sept 15th. Room 172 was packed, the snacks were plentiful and the panelists were enthusiastic. It was a welcome break from studying to think about the big picture of our careers.  Here are some of the lessons I took away from the evening:

An internship can be whatever you want it to be, so think creatively about what you are looking for. At the same time, keep an open mind because an unexpected opportunity may turn out to be great. The following options presented by the panel are a good place to start exploring.

·       At a large or small design, real estate, development, consulting, etc. firm,
·       In a government department such as a planning commission or zoning board,         
·       With a non-profit organization, big or small,
·       In a department of a large institution such as the facilities division at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

·       By networking with previous employers, relative, neighbors and colleagues,
·       Handed to you for winning a competition,
·       Through an organization that sets it up for you, even internationally, for a fee,
·       By applying for a posted position, such as on the CED listserve,
·       By approaching someone in an organization/gov’t office you’d like to work for,
·       By offering free services where you see a need, especially at a non-profit.

While an employer from Lawrence Berkeley Lab pointed out, “no one owes you a job,” people always look forward to having interns in the office because we bring freshness and energy.  If you are your motivated, bright, Cal-Student self, they’ll love you. That said, there is etiquette to follow in “the real world.”
  • Know what you want to do, what you can offer, and what you want to get out of the internship and be able to articulate it clearly in a 30 second “elevator speech.”       
  • Be professional in your resume, cover letter, verbal statements, and appearance.
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to each internship you apply for. 
  • Be energetic, curious, thoughtful, passionate, and really good at what you do.
  • Don’t forget to be yourself!
    I left the evening feeling inspired by my peers on the panel who had followed their interests and found fulfilling internships that both expanded their education and gave them a sense of what they were looking for in their career, and in some cases led to a job.

Employer and intern panelists are questioned by Peer Advisor  Melissa He

A crowd of mostly architecture majors listen intently

By Roxy Glick, your blogging peer