Written by Ashley Johnson, '13
Writing Intern for the Office of Communications

Nationwide it takes the average new college graduate at least nine months to land their first entry-level job. To help close the time gap and improve job offers, the Career Center at CSUSM works with students to identify and apply for internships, which provides valuable experience that more and more employers are looking for on a new graduate’s résumé.

“It’s never too early to utilize the career center and start building your résumé,” said Pamela Wells, director of the Career Center. “It’s important to start thinking about the future well before graduating so that students can take advantage of valuable opportunities like internships.”

Employers are on the lookout for students who have at least some relevant job experience, and as Wells explains, internships play a key role in strengthening a résumé. In a statewide employer survey, 67 percent of surveyed employers hired interns from CSU campuses over the past three years and agreed that internships were an extremely important part of the criteria they were looking for in potential new hires.

The Career Center works individually with each student to help steer them on the right path towards obtaining an internship and finding an entry level job. The decision to take advantage of the services offered could have a significantly positive impact on a student’s future success.

Lewis Dillard, an accountancy senior and former president of the Accounting Society, realized the importance of gaining firsthand experience in his career field before graduating.

“When I first transferred to CSUSM I considered myself a serious student and wanted to find out the best way for me to accomplish my goals,” he said. “I learned about the career center and thought it was a no brainer. I thought to myself, ‘Why would I not use this free service if I was serious about working after college?’”

Starting early and preparing for the job search can give students a leg up when the time comes to actually apply for a job and the Career Center is there to provide that much needed kick start. The Career Center offers valuable services such as counseling, résumé workshops and mock interviews, all geared to help prepare students for the highly competitive job market they will face after graduation.

“Ever since I started using their services, I have had nothing but positive outcomes,” said Dillard. “I now have a solid résumé, cover letter and well-rounded interviewing skills, all of which I have used to obtain internship positions and part-time work relevant to my career path while still in school.”

“We want students to be successful,” noted Wells. “We want them to have the positions they are going after, and we are here to help get them to that point.”

“In my opinion, anyone that is serious about getting employed, or wants to have a solid career after college -- which I'm sure every student wants to do -- should utilize the free services that the Career Center has to offer,” added Dillard.

Learn more about internships and other available resources provided by the Career Center, go online to www.csusm.edu/careers or visit the Center, which is located on the first floor of Craven Hall and open Monday -Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Employers are on the lookout for students who have at least some relevant job experience, and as Wells explains, internships play a key role in strengthening a résumé. In a statewide employer survey, 67 percent of surveyed employers hired interns from CSU campuses over the past three years and agreed that internships were an extremely important part of the criteria they were looking for in potential new hires.