Summer is approaching at lightspeed, and the school year has worn you down so much that you either haven’t found a job or internship yet, or you applied and still didn’t get your dream internship. Don’t worry: there might still be opportunities out there for you.
It’s not too late.
TIME Money advises that the job and internship search should start a year early. That’s obviously a crazy timeline for a busy college student, but it’s probably a good idea to at least start looking during fall or winter quarters, especially when the career fairs on campus offer great opportunities to network and find the internship of your dreams.
For the current problem of finding a job or internship now, though, not all hope is lost. Most of the large companies that you were aiming for probably don’t have openings anymore, but small startups and mid-sized companies might still have opportunities. Widen your search to incorporate different types of companies -- maybe you’ll find a job that will really resonate with you, or you’ll have an interesting new experience.
Check out NCA’s resources.
The Northwestern Career Advancement website might seem complex and daunting, but it has a ton of resources for the desperate last-minute job seeker. Learn how to improve your resume (or make one if you haven’t yet -- no one will judge). Look up networking and interviewing tips. Make an appointment with Northwestern’s professional career counselors, who can help you find openings related to your major or specific interests.
NCA’s website also has a page just for Student Resources, which is basically everything you need in one place. The page has links to many internship sites like Internships.com, iNet, and Glassdoor, a site full of company reviews, job search tips, job openings, and more. If you’re putting on final touches or getting ready to apply, VMock is an online resume platform that helps look over and revise your resume, another great resource aside from the live human beings who work at the Career Center. Our Northwestern is also a way to get your tuition’s worth of networking with successful alumni.
Go to a ‘Cats Connect.
If you’re heading home for the summer, ‘Cats Connect is a great opportunity to meet with alumni who work in your region. ‘Cats Connect is a networking reception for current Northwestern students to meet with local alumni in major cities. You can talk to alumni in your field of interest and learn about what they’re doing. Check NCA’s ‘Cats Connect page on their website for more information and to see if there’s a reception near you.
Career advisers and Handshake!
Career advisers and Handshake are both great student resources that will further your job search. Handshake is NCA's central career platform for job and internship opportunities, so if you browse around you might be able to find a few positions for latecomers.
Once you’ve found an opportunity you like, make an appointment with a career adviser to shape up your resume and interview skills, and clear up any questions you have. You can also start with individual counseling for your job and internship search, and career advisers can guide you in the right direction.
Reach out to friends and family. Let professors know that you’re looking. Ask Northwestern alumni in your field for an informational interview. Do the LinkedIn thing. It’s always a great time to network. Of course, you shouldn’t see every interaction as an opportunity to get a job (if you do, I hope you’ll still have real friends afterward), but whether you’re actively looking or you’ve already given up, networking can unearth opportunities for the future, if not for now. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to about your job search, since you never know who might have a cool job they need to fill.
Do your best.
If you don’t find an internship or job (even with this expertly-written guide), it’s not the end of the world. Find something to do this summer: make your own project, volunteer, or take on a summer job. All of these still add to your resume, and they might open more doors later on. Or relax; we all need some down time after a year at Northwestern.
Good luck, and have fun with your search!