Ahiti Juarez: Your Own Recruiting Path
Securing an internship is essential for one's college and academic career. This is especially important for the summer after your junior year, as you'll have the opportunity to earn a full-time offer upon completing the internship. And while every industry has different recruiting timelines, it seems to be getting earlier and earlier every year. Such early timelines stress candidates as some opportunities slip away by being unprepared or unaware of said opportunities. This has occurred to me on several occasions as I missed opportunities because I was unaware that applications had even opened.
While some get internships in their first year, others don't end up with internships until their Junior year, but this does not mean they're behind. And the reality is that this is perfectly normal and fine, as most students don't begin landing internships until their second year in college. In my first year, I was under the impression that I was falling behind from what I had seen from fellow peers on LinkedIn. Although this motivated me to start applying for internships, I slowly realized that our career paths differed. There was no reason why I needed to put myself down or feel bad because I had not secured an internship or participated in programs.
While I managed to have an internship after my first year, the reality is that everyone's career path is different, and we must understand that. We are not behind; we are just on our own path. It's important not to get caught up on all the LinkedIn posts. While it could be great to see the achievements of fellow peers and their connections, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparisons and feel bad about one's journey and experiences.
Now there are several things I recommend every student to do as soon as they start college: create a LinkedIn account, a Handshake, and a resume. Doing so will help students connect and apply to various career opportunities, so be sure to update them as your involvement and experiences increase. I would also advise everyone to take a good professional headshot to add to every professional platform; as much as you love your graduation pics, you'll eventually want to move on from them, trust me.