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Internships key to good jobs later on

Feb. 1, 2001

For college seniors, there is only one thing on the mind: getting a job. This is partly because we have learned over the years the importance of being financially responsible.

More importantly, some of us aren't too interested in the prospect of moving back home with Mom and Pop. As such, it's important to make a resume worth reading.

There are several ways to improve the resume. Some believe that the grade point average is the selling point, and some believe it's in a good recommendation or membership in about 20 clubs on campus. These are all good, but the fact is that nothing improves a résume as well as job experience. The best possible route is to have an internship or two. This shows an interest in your major and the desire to get to work. It's also a surefire way to avoid embarrassment in a job interview. There is nothing an interviewer likes more than to ask if you've had any internships.

Most students avoid internships because internships are often in unfamiliar cities and do not always pay well. Many of them don't pay much, but may well lead to a job offer. These are usually worth it in the end. Some do not pay at all. These internships are to be avoided at all costs -- unless, of course, you are independently wealthy.

For the rest of us, getting a paycheck is essential. It's also important to realize that even the lowliest college employment still looks good on a resume. If nothing else, it might help a prospective employer understand your GPA. If you choose not to work during college, your GPA had better reflect all those free hours spent in the library. An interviewer needs to have some idea of how you spent your time. Job experience works wonders toward convincing interviewers that you are serious and do have a work ethic.

Some of the best college jobs are waiting tables, bank telling, officiating sports and running cash registers. A good college job should be flexible, pay well and not cause any added stress. School can be frustrating enough without adding stress at work. On a resume, these jobs add variety to your experience and show that you are willing to learn new things. It is possible to get hired without any job experience, but it is easier when you have a history of working that can be checked out by a potential employer.

JED WYSE

Copy editor