“Last semester I began looking for an internship in hopes of gaining valuable hands-on experience prior to graduating this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Moreover, I wanted to gain experience applicable to what I will be studying in graduate school, Urban Planning. I could not have found a more perfect fit! This semester I will intern at the Milwaukee County Department of Economic Development.
The searching process for my internship began at one of Career Services’ most valuable resources: Pioneer Career Net (PCN). This resource is a database for thousands of jobs, internships, employers, resume requests, and many other valuable career resources. I narrowed down my search results by utilizing PCN’s sorting tool that allowed me to use key words in the search process, such as “urban planning, government, development, economic, politics, etc.” Within a few clicks, I found an internship opening in the Milwaukee County Executive Office.
A few weeks after I submitted my cover letter and resume, I received a phone call from the Executive Office requesting an interview! I was a little nervous for my interview, as most people normally are. In fact, while waiting for my interview, I forgot to turn my phone off. This lack of concentration resulted in an abrupt disturbance in the middle of the interview (ALWAYS turn your phone off)! However, the interview nonetheless went smoothly. I discussed my qualifications, past experiences, and future goals with the two interviewees for about 20 minutes. It was after my discussion of wanting to attend graduate school for urban planning that one interviewee asked if I would like to intern for Economic Development. While I wouldn’t be interning in the Executive Office, I was still thrilled because it matched my prospective career path. I accepted this offer and two weeks later I found myself in a second interview with the Director of Economic Development. The director and I talked about urban and economic development in Milwaukee for about two hours. So, it was more of a casual conversation rather than an interview!
There are three things to keep in mind during this entire process. First, after my initial interview, I received a phone call two days later from the interviewee saying she passed my name on to the Director of Economic Development for a subsequent interview. I returned her call, left a message, but did not hear back for another week. So, I called the interviewee back, touch based, and it turns out she forgot to send me the e-mail correspondence with the Director of Economic Development. The lesson here is to always follow up with a few phone calls to ensure everything is on track, even after you left a voicemail in the first place. Second, utilize PCN to find an internship or job that suits you. The searching process allows you to efficiently pinpoint a position that fits your career goals. Third, you never know where an interview may lead to. Always keep your mind open to other possibilities that may benefit your potential career!”
This post was written by Luke Mattek. Luke is currently a senior at Carroll University studying Political Science. In his free-time he enjoys reading, exercising, playing tennis, fishing, and keeping up with the Packers.