“Opportunity is out there.” A common enough phrase that most students have heard and understand. It’s difficult to argue against the validity of this statement, as opportunity truly is out there for ambitious college students. However, there is undoubtedly an air of ambiguity and vagueness that accompanies such a claim. What kind of opportunity? Opportunity for what? Where is “there”?
While these specific questions cannot be answered for each individual, as no two people are alike, there are certainly some tips that will better prepare students to answer the above questions for themselves. Tips on opportunity can be gleaned from those with experience, and in the case of Kelsey Koberg (Polson, Mont.), a senior double major in business and communication, experience has come in droves in while at NNU.
Having already interned through five different organizations (UBS Wealth Management, World Relief Boise, The Idaho Republican Party, Teneo Holdings and the Office of Senator Mike Crapo), Kelsey has a wide range of experience on opportunity and how to take advantage of it.
What would you say are some tips and tricks you've learned to really help make the most of your opportunities?
My rule of thumb is take every opportunity that's given to you. Just because something isn't exactly what you're looking for doesn't mean it won't be good experience. Also be nice to and talk to everyone. I've had the opportunity to learn from some incredibly successful people just because I asked if they had a few minutes to sit down and chat.
How would you advise someone on finding internship opportunities?
Google. Opportunities aren't always going to just fall into your lap, sometimes you have to find or create them. Research companies you want to work for, and even if they don't have official intern programs, sending a cover letter and resume can never hurt. When I was applying for internships in New York, I typed "Public Relations" into google maps and researched every firm that came up in Manhattan. There were well over a hundred.
When deciding which internships to commit to, what are some of the things you look for that appeal to you? How do you know an internship is right for you?
The two things that I look for most in an internship are the people that I will be working with and whether or not I will be kept busy. The worst internships I have had are ones that are paid but haven't kept me busy. The best ones have been with people who are interesting and successful. You can learn more from an hour listening to them than you can from trying to do anything on your own.
Are there any other general pieces of advice you would give to fellow students regarding seeking and taking advantage of opportunities?
Be over-prepared for everything, solve problems, and have a can-do attitude. These are things that potential employers, whether for an internship or a job, are not necessarily expecting, so they will set you apart from the crowd. Also, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Just because something sounds boring or you aren't getting paid in cash, doesn't mean that meeting one person or helping out with one event won't open doors in the future that you didn't even know were there.