What were some of the services you used or events you attended through CU Boulder Career Services?
In the past I've used Career Services to apply for their PIIE (Public Interest Internship Experience) program, to edit my CV for scholarship essays. This time around, I asked them to edit my CV and three cover letters for an internship that I hoped to have in Brussels, Belgium.
What were the main steps you took to get your internship/job?
The application process was made fairly clear by my host organization, Vesalius College, which also created the internship opportunities: I needed one CV, three cover letters tailored to my top three choices, an internship application form, a letter of recommendation from a professor, and a background check for my top choice. Since the internship options were made available only two weeks before the application deadline, I could only work on my CV in advance, and I did everything else for a few days after I chose my top three internships. It took the full two weeks to everything edited and sent by others in time, but considering that I was in Lithuania the entire time, I consider it quite efficient! Of my three choices, I was selected by two for interviews. The night before each interview, I took my cursory notes on each organization, I googled the organization and added to my notes (including review websites and sites of their competition), generated some questions to ask, and looked up news on the organization.
How did CU Boulder Career Services help you with your internship/job search process?
I emailed their office asking for someone to give me critiques on my CV and three cover letters (since I was out of the country at the time). In two bursts of activity my counselor helped me edit everything, and when I mentioned that I had been asked for two interviews, she sent me this amazing brochure of all the different sorts of interviews I could have, the most common questions, and some good methods to answer them. After my first successful interview, she also gave me advice on whether I should interview for the second. Basically, I asked for a few edits, and (luckily) I got a lifeline through my entire application process.
Describe your role and responsibilities at your current
I will be an intern for the Belgian American Education Foundation, where I'll be sharing an office with the main liaison for Belgian students who are applying for scholarships to study in the US. I will be involved in correspondence, giving advice to applicants, collecting and organizing application materials, outreach at graduate school fairs, welcoming and orienting American students in Belgium, organizing events for awardees and alumni, and anything else my supervisor may need!
What other comments or recommendations do you have for fellow Buffs as they begin their search?
If you do nothing else (besides the obvious internet research), prepare questions for your interview! Both of my interviews focused more on my questions than theirs; one of them had no questions for me at all, but instead requested that I ask them questions. I prepare a minimum of seven because I know that some of them will be addressed when they're talking about the organization. Be careful, though, not to ask questions that you can get off of their website. If you want to go above and beyond, search for your company (use quotation marks to get exact results) in Google News. It was that way that I found out that my current organization funds not only scholarships but academic research, and that knowledge really impressed my interviewer.
What would you tell a student who has never used Career Services?
It's never too late to start working with these guys! Every time I've used Career Services I've always gotten more than I expected, including advice that I didn't think I needed but that turned out to be invaluable. I'm hoping to complete the Buff Professionals program when I get back to the States, if only because I love not only the advice but the staff itself!