Vault hosted a Diversity & Inclusion in Internships Virtual Career Fair this fall. This unique fair offered a rare opportunity for students to increase their internship prospects and meet with top employers. They were also able to meet with a community of experts and alumni who helped them connect the dots between their education, career dreams, and next step forward.
On the day of the fair, interns also had access to several live events, including a “Real Talk About Diverse Internships” panel discussion with executives from employers committed to hiring diverse interns. The panelists—including Anna Bagienska, Senior Human Resources at Marks Paneth; Marquisia Taylor, Manager, Campus Events & DEI Engagement at The Home Depot; and Angela King, Relationship Manager, Global Academic Relations, North America, at Infosys—shared stories about candidates who blew them away as well as candidates who blew it (and why). They discussed where to find an internship, land an internship, and make the most out of an internship. And they also discussed what they wished they knew when they were looking for internships. Here is a quick excerpt:
Q: Where should diverse candidates start to look for good internships?
Anna: Your school is the number one place to start. They have so many great resources, especially your career services center, and tons of clubs to join, whichever speaks to you. Everyone in those clubs has similar interests as you and are looking for similar jobs as you, so it’s a great place to start networking. Many of these groups also network with companies. Some of the people I hire are people I met at info sessions at these clubs. Career fairs are great, but club info sessions are more intimate: it’s us talking to smaller groups, building a relationship. The next time I come, I remember your face, remember your name. Now I know to connect with you again. You’re showing consistent interest. So the next time I have a position open, I’ll probably reach out to you. The more you’re putting yourself out there, the more recruiters will remember your name.
Marquisia: When there are opportunities on campus—if your career development center is offering development sessions, interview prep, resume prep—those are really great ways to make a connection for a possible internship or a job, but it prepares you as well. In today’s world, we’re so digital. You can leverage Handshake, particularly for students, that allows you to network and create connections. If someone offers to network with you, they truly mean it. Something about you and your skillset, experience, thoughts, really stood out. Don’t be afraid to follow up with those people and to build that connection. As I was graduating from college, I was reaching out to different companies that I found interest in. I didn’t expect to have much response, but every person I reached out to followed up and was more than happy to speak with me to give me more information. And that ultimately led to me landing a post-graduate internship that didn’t even offer it at that time.
Angela: When I was looking for a job as an MBA, I did a lot of organic outreach. I also took advantage of LinkedIn Premium. Usually, you can get a free trial for something like six months. That is your golden ticket. It’s your way to learn about the market before you’ve stepped into it. If you’ve heard about Project Manager or Relationship Manager, but you don’t know what it means…it seems vague…look up someone in those positions and ask them for an informational interview. The worst thing that will happen is they don’t respond, or they say no. But at least you put yourself out there. There’s very little risk in sending cold messages, and there’s so much reward in learning more about these roles. I love when students take the initiative. It’s refreshing. And who doesn’t like to talk about their job? Most of the time, someone will take those twenty minutes to talk about themselves with you.
Watch the entire panel discussion below to learn more from Anna, Marquisia, and Angela:
Originally published on Vault.
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