Annual Internship Fair Preview: Providing Entry-level Work Experience

 Courtesy of Santa Monica College

Courtesy of Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College (SMC) will be hosting their annual 2018 Internship Fair at the main campus quad from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. this Tuesday, May 22. Internships include nursing and medical science for Cedar Sinai, Honors internships for the FBI, production assistants for KCRW, interns for environmental groups, and many more.

Lisa Moss, the internship coordinator, organizes the internship fair every year for the students at SMC. If students miss this opportunity, they will have to wait until the following year for the next one to come to SMC, and Moss says these opportunities are crucial for those trying to enter the job market. 

“It's important for students who are graduating to have some prior work-based experience," she says. “Most of the employers that were surveyed have said that they do not hire students who do not have some prior work experience." 

Having employers and career paths come to the school also allows undecided students what field of study they would like to major in. "The idea is to get them into the industry to learn some work-based skills so they can define their major," Moss says. 

Forensic Psychology major Brigitte Guzman recommends those who already know what they're planning to study to apply for internships as well. "A professor of mine discussed about his experience as a community college student," Guzman says. "He said he was planning to major in biology, but after his internship, he decided to become an English professor. Through the internship, he learned that biology wasn't for him."

Even if you may feel that your lack of work experience may make it seem impossible to get an internship, Moss says not to worry. Many employers that come to "the internship fair at the college already know that SMC students have different skill sets that range from basic to advanced levels," she says. "However, it's incumbent upon the employer to teach SMC students relevant career-based skills that are outlined on their Learning Agreement Contracts."

For those who feel unprepared and would like help applying, SMC's career services center is available. If you meet with the employers and get their contact information but need assistance with the application process, the center offers workshops that help students prepare for events like this fair as well as helping students filling out their resumes, cover letters and many more options. 

Those that can't make it to the internship fair can also go through them to help them connect to employers for internships or careers. For more information, you can visit their website here.

EDIT: The article has been corrected to fix some misquotes.