Internships prove valuable in landing jobs


    By Jessica Davis

    As fans patiently waited, a young man raised his arm and the massive cheering began. As if queued by the audience”s first scream, a spectrum of lights zipped through the crowd and the cameramen began to scan the fame-hungry teenagers.

    Run by employees under the age of 25, this MTV production seemed obviously modern and surprisingly professional.

    Joining the crew of a new MTV show may not seem a possibility for many, but finding an internship that may lead to such a position is not too far from grasp.

    While fetching coffee and organizing filing cabinets may be inevitable for many beginning interns, Jessica Messer, a casting director at MTV, encouraged students, explaining that often these chores lead to more gratifying paid jobs. She said that about 80 percent of MTV”s internships are followed by job offers.

    With summer approaching, BYU offers help for those seeking big-time internships and jobs, like those offered at MTV. The BYU employer database is perhaps the most useful tool in finding a desired internship for students. Listing more than 16,000 employers looking to hire, interested students have the option of contacting the employer of their choice in the city or state they desire.

    Advisers also offer a more personal approach. With professional help available for all students, easy access to information and job connections can be made.

    Connie Cluff, an interview coordinator for the communications department, emphasized the importance of being confident, persistent and self-promoting.

    “You just have to be open wherever you go,” Cluff said.

    Paul Jacobson, a BYU alumni, and current resident and worker in New York City, now reaps the benefits from BYU”s internship placement program. He said his determination as well as the resolution of his adviser played a large role in his employment.

    Most importantly, Jacobson said preparation, a polished portfolio and prior experience helped him land a creative advertising job in the Big Apple.

    “I tried to do everything I could to better qualify myself, especially in the light of how good I know everyone else to be,” Jacobson said.

    While portfolios, determination and persistence are helpful in finding a good job, Messer, Jacobson and Cluff said networking is the most important key in finding one”s dream job.

    “Usually your network builds just by being in different places and taking advantage of conversations and being friendly and meeting more people,” Cluff said. “You don”t know who the person is going to be to get you that perfect internship or that perfect job.”

    While Jacobson mentioned that the competition is fierce between others who are better qualified and are from more prestigious schools, Cluff said BYU students have an edge and are valued in the workplace.

    “Our students are top notch when they go out of BYU, so if you”ve gotten good grades and you have some experience, you”re probably well-qualified for any entry level job that they have in New York and you have the ability to learn,” said Cluff.

    Cluff advised that students should invest themselves, ask questions and never be afraid to throw out their own ideas on the table. Once an internship or job is granted, she said regardless of self-doubts, students should remember that they are there and they are going to help.

    “The moral is work hard, be friendly and say your prayers,” Jacobson said.

    For information on internships, contact or visit the BYU Career Placement Center at 2410 WSC.

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