Miracle Adebanjo, Contributor
Picture this scenario: It is the last week of April, and little Jimmy is a junior in college. Jimmy knows what his major is; but he still has no idea what he would like to do post-graduation. His finals are approaching, but he cannot focus because his mind keeps wandering on what treacherous toils are in store this summer once the semester finishes. Jimmy’s peers have already shared with him that they have travel plans, internships, and apprenticeships on their agenda, but he did not think ahead. Little Jimmy was so focused on living in the moment that when the moment came, Jimmy missed it. So now little Jimmy is going to spend the summer in his mother’s basement playing Fortnite and drinking Mountain Dew. Do not be like little Jimmy. Invest in your future. Think about what you can do today to ensure a better tomorrow.
Some may argue “but I don’t know what I want to do in the future.” That’s okay (even I am still figuring that out) but you have to start from somewhere! We all should take the opportunity to gain new experiences, and even if you find that you don’t like something – you are one step closer to finding what you DO like. This is why I heavily advise pursuing internships. Internships grant you great experiences, but they also grant you an abundance of benefits including good pay, good memories and access to business professionals from all walks of life. The Strommen Center for Meaningful Work is a great place to start your search.
The Strommen Center is a resource on campus that ensures that students are prepared and can gain opportunities such as those poor little Jimmy missed out on. Founded by Clair and Gladys Strommen, the Strommen Center came about to help young individuals with creating meaning & purpose in life. It is leading the way in preparing and empowering a diverse group of future workers through critical career readiness programs to meet the demands of 21st century employers. Internships, career exploration, interview preparation, résumés & cover letters and alumni resources are all available through the center. All of these resources have been proven to be helpful to past and present Auggies. Here are some quotes of past interns and career fair attendees:
Bjorn Melin ‘20
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
(Interned between junior and senior year)
“I found my internship by working with Strommen Center. I found this specific role at an on-campus career fair last fall…After the careers fair, I applied for the internship online, set up an on-campus interview 2 days after, then had another phone interview in which I received my offer 4 days following. The entire process took only about a week and a half. After receiving my offer there were a lot of pre-employment documents and tasks but all around it was very stress-free.
[I would advise to] start looking for an internship as soon as the school year starts or even before! Most of the good internship opportunities are only available during the fall. The longer you wait, the less likely it is you find the role you are looking for.”
Miracle Adebanjo ‘20
Major: Management, Marketing, International Business, and MIS
“The first time I ever walked into the Strommen Center…I didn’t know exactly where to start, and so I was directed by Michael Grewe to seek out help. However now that I am a lot older, I have found myself visiting the center at least once every other week. They are great in helping with mock interviews, resumes, setting up interviews, and even giving opportunities for scholarships. Just last week I was fortunate enough to partake in the Government and Nonprofit Career Fair hosted at the U of M…With their help, I felt adequately prepared for such a feat. My advice is to fully make use of this resource.”
Ma’Rissa Rowe ‘21 – “Not only did I learn about internship opportunities [at the Career Fair], I learned how to represent myself and be more confident in front of employers.”
Hasna Ali ‘20 – “I came to the career fair to solidify my future career, and with all of the amazing employers I met today, I believe I achieved that goal.”
Reggie Agyen-Boateng ‘21 – “I came in looking for internships related to Sociology, and I realized that I can apply the skills that I have learned in my Sociology courses in other disciplines such as Marketing or Human Resources. “
Simone Rask ‘20 – “I was super nervous at first, but I used the Strommen Center’s resources and preparation video to prepare myself to give my best first impression to employers.”
Be sure to check out the Strommen center today; it’s not too late to find an internship or job in the coming year. Current positions are posted on Handshake, and the Minnesota Private College Job Fair will be Feb. 27.
This article was originally published in the November 8, 2019 issue.