The pandemic challenged current college students, not only when learning took place virtually, but also in finding hands-on work internships to explore a potential career. Glassdoor estimated that half of the internships in the U.S. were canceled in the spring of last year, and internship hiring on Glassdoor for April 2020 fell 39 percent compared to April 2019.
Learn how Jewish Atlantan students were successful in obtaining the response, “When can you start your internship with us?” The AJT also interviewed educational professionals and a college consultant who works with young adults seeking successful career goals.
Landing His Dream Internship
A former baseball team player at Johns Creek High School in Alpharetta and ardent Braves fan, Ryan Danz is a University of Maryland sophomore majoring in business and marketing. His pursuit of a sports business internship started in December when he began visiting websites such as teamwork.com and searched Google to find teams and businesses that interested him. But it was networking that landed his “dream internship job” working for the Atlanta Braves.
An Atlanta businessman who led a nonprofit baseball organization helped Danz line up multiple conversations and interviews which led to the internship. Starting last month, after a training period to be a marketing team digital service representative, Danz began tracking social media and app issues during all home games and events to “better their marketing and technology efforts along with going into the stadium to work with the fans.”
Although he received a paycheck, he said that whether or not you’re paid, college internships are a great opportunity to experience working in “the real world.”
Perserverance and LinkedIn
For Ilana Bonell, a University of Georgia senior majoring in advertising and minoring in design and media, internships gave her valuable experience that she couldn’t get in the classroom. Bonell said that UGA offers guidance when looking for employment. Twice a semester the school usually holds career fairs and networking events, which recently have all been online due to COVID, she said.
Bonell remembered when the pandemic started in the spring of 2020 and many internships were canceled. She said it was hard to find an internship that was flexible with remote work that would pay well. But through perseverance and LinkedIn, she found an internship closely related to her major and interest in digital marketing.
She is a global channel marketing intern for Nutanix, a California computer software company, helping create and strategize campaigns and formulate social content.
Bonell said she believes the only way to get a competitive internship right now is to research companies you would like to work for, apply to all the positions your skills align with, and be yourself in interviews. You have to apply to as many internships as possible to make sure you get as many offers as possible, she said. Although she applied for many internships, she narrowed her search to those that offered paid internships. From her observation, she believes the internship job search is getting easier, especially in marketing and digital marketing career paths.
Jewish College Perspectives
Dr. Mark Fisher works closely with Atlanta Jewish students for college placement. He reached out to two New York City institutions serving a large number of local students to get their perspectives on why internships were so important.
Here’s what he learned:
Over 70 percent of the Class of 2019 of Yeshiva University reported they had held at least one internship, said Todd C. Lotcpeich, director of employer relations and engagement at Yeshiva Unversity’s Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development. In addition to gaining great work experience, internships often convert to full-time jobs after graduation.
“Thankfully, even with the pandemic, we have not seen much slowdown in the hiring of students, and we expect this trend to continue throughout the next academic year,” Lotcpeich said. YU students intern at many of the top finance, technology and business firms as well as large Jewish organizations.
“Finding internships has always been difficult, but now, more than ever, networking is crucial,” said Jodi Smolen, director of career services at Touro College’s Lander College for Men. “Alumni networks, LinkedIn and informational interviews are so important.”
Getting a Foot in the Door
Mauri Artz is owner of Peachtree Prep, a college advising and tutoring firm in Atlanta. She co-authored the book, “From Diploma to Dream Job” with career coach Beth Kuhel in 2011. In her book, Artz addresses how to network and find internships, while offering advice on how to “get a foot in the door” through effective cover letters, phone conversations and interviews. She helps students set goals and teaches them to be proactive, like seeking out one’s college career center for help, where alumni often look for current students to hire.
During the pandemic, she says there are many opportunities to work remotely through internships. There are positions in nonprofits to make phone calls to coordinate rides or become trained to answer calls for crisis lines along with the need to deliver food to the elderly. “These situations, even if volunteer ones, propelled students toward great full- time careers and/or graduate school programs.”
Artz encourages those seeking internships to be curious about the breadth of career opportunities that exist today such as specialized careers in industrial design, “big data,” or as an environmental sustainability specialist.
“It all starts with a vision of what you want to do with your untapped potential, your relentless energy, and your positive spirit,” she said. Finding a good internship is part of the process. ì
For more internship information from area colleges, visit: