This year’s sold-out Sophomore Internship Conference featured speakers from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, faculty and panels of students to educate the student attendees on finding, landing and participating in internships during their college career.
“I am here to share with you some inside scoop on what to do, how to execute it and how to land a job,” Jennifer Santiago of Enterprise Rent-A-Car said to students in her presentation, entitled “The Art of Power Interviewing.”
The Sophomore Internship Conference began in Friends Hall before students scattered to various workshops of their choice. These workshops included presenters from UPS and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Ramapo College faculty members and student panelists.
Students were encouraged to use their smart phones throughout the conference to tweet and post pictures about the presentations.
The topics of the presentations included resume writing, interviewing, graduate school and dressing to impress.
Students came looking for advice on these topics as they will soon be preparing for applying, interviewing and participating in internships.
“I was hoping to get a lot of how to’s for interviews and what not to do and I definitely got a lot of help with that,” said Stephen Dello Stritto, a sophomore.
Santiago’s presentation gave tips on preparing for interviews, what to say and do during interviews and how to follow up afterwards.
She suggested practicing interviews with a friend, professor or in the mirror.
“You have to physically go through the motions to practice and gain confidence,” Santiago said.
Students had the opportunity to view other students as well, including “Students Tell All: Student Internship Panel.” The panel featured five students: Evan Clayton, Anthony Darakjv, Kevin Ng, Courtney Moed and Nikhil Bhatia. The students have participated in internships with various companies, including Pfizer and Merrill Lynch.
The students gave advice on various aspects of participating in an internship.
“The one piece of advice I would give all you guys is don’t sell yourself short… it’s what you know and it’s your personality that matters more than anything else,” said Bhatia.
Many panelists agreed that confidence is the key to being a good intern.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions because it shows that you really are interested and you actually care about what you’re doing,” said Moed.
The panelists also collectively agreed that you have to be prepared for anything that may be thrown at you.
“Be flexible and realize that surprises will come up,” said Ng. “You’re going to learn a bunch of different things when you get into an internship, so just always be ready for the new things.”
Students came away from the conference feeling informed and ready to jump right into finding an internship.
“I didn’t realize how accessible the faculty was and the great opportunities you can have to explore your passions,” said James Tikio, a sophomore.
Megan Patel, a first year senator in SGA who was assisting with the conference, encouraged students to put what they learned to good use.
“It’s never too early to start networking and get your career rolling,” she said.