Joyce Rogers, the founder and director of COM Career Services, has worked at BU COM since 1975. Rogers recently announced she will retire in January, leaving COM after 42 years of guidance, mentorship, compassion, and knowledge – and she has six final tips for students looking to get an early start on the summer internship process.
1. Practice Your Handshake
“A student goes on Handshake and has a full career experience.”
Handshake is the Career Service Management System (CSM) where students can see upcoming events, book appointments, and create an internship-search profile. The system also lists employers coming to campus specifically to hire BU students, so Rogers encourages students to use it as they’re searching for an internship.
“A student goes on Handshake and has a full career experience,” Rogers said. “It’s an intuitive system and easy to keep a profile of career activity in one place.”
In addition to Handshake, there is The Vault. According to Rogers, “It is the best available career library in existence.” The database provides industry guides for all COM fields, detailing information about the “uppers” and “downers” of each industry, estimated salaries, industry positions, and internships available.
2. NetWORK IT
“Work LinkedIn from both sides.”
Networking and utilizing BU connections is crucial when searching for internship opportunities. “The alumni out there are amazing,” Rogers said.“Find alumni and meet them for coffee or in their offices. Ask them about the jobs they do, about the companies they are in. Ask about the tracks they took, about suggestions they have for you.”
Roger advises students to utilize social media to make connections that are personal to them. With over 225,000 BU alumni users, she believes it is an invaluable platform and encourages students to “work LinkedIn from both sides” by combining BU connections with personal connections to maximize resources and opportunities.
3. Focus on Focusing your Resume
“The best resume is a focused resume, not focused work.”
Roger believes the strongest resumes are those which are varied, but make sense. “It doesn’t matter what you have done [up] to this point,” she added. “There is a way to present a resume with as much strength as possible by focusing yourself from that point toward the track you want to be on.”
4. Don’t Fixate on 4.0
“Every now and then, one of our employers cares. The rest of the time, they want to see what you have done and what you know how to do.”
Rogers believes a high GPA is an obvious plus, and suggests maintaining a 3.0. However, students should also gain real-world experience. “If you have great grades and haven’t gotten the experience, it’s not going to help you,” she said. If students don’t have time for an internship during the year, Rogers said they can still gain skills and professional experience on-campus by participating in AdLab/PRLab, The Daily Free Press, BUTV10, or WTBU.
5. Retake COM101
Available on COM’s website, COM Careers 101 is a series of nine three-to-nine-minute videos that break down interviewing, networking, resumes, cover letters, and other internship search necessities. Career Services designed this new program as a platform for students to access relevant information regarding their individual questions.
“If you do still need an appointment, we can talk about your specific questions,” Rogers said.
6. Open Your Mind
“Open yourself to opportunities. Don’t close out opportunities…Open your mind.”
Finally, Rogers stresses the importance of embracing all possibilities. Even a bad internship experience can help steer a career. Rogers believes it is crucial for students to experiment in various fields to determine what they like and dislike about a company or career.
“Open yourself to opportunities. Don’t close out opportunities,” Rogers said. “Open your mind.”
It’s never too soon to start utilizing resources, beginning your networking process, learning about career opportunities, and presenting your best self. Consider Rogers’ advice. For more information on internship guides and opportunities, visit COM’s Career Services.
Shira Levin, Staff Writer
Shira Levin is a junior majoring in advertising. Born and raised in the City of Angeles, Shira is your typical West Coast native attempting to make it through another East Coast winter. Spot her around campus in oversized sunglasses, exercise leggings, and blacked-out Nikes.