Parents can help college grads secure internships

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 By

A male college graduate hard at work at his internship position.

College graduates can use internships as a fast track to career success. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/NRCSA)

Most colleges do not effectively prepare graduates to take on the job market, thanks to under-funded, under-staffed, under-motivated college career centers. Students must find motivation within themselves, but it never hurts to have parents who take an active role. According to Fox Business, parents can be instrumental in helping students obtain internships after college.

Internships for college grads: A welcome ROI

Parents want their sons and daughters to do something with their college education, if for no other reason than to produce a return on their tuition investment. Yet most colleges do not take an active role in connecting graduates with jobs, and most students who have lived in the collegiate social incubator for four years or more aren’t in the career mindset upon graduation. Thus, parents have their work cut out for them.

A student internship is a great way to test drive a career field to determine whether it’s an appropriate choice, plus it can give a student an inside track to a paid position. Here are a few things parents can do to help grads land an internship opportunity.

Facebook can never replace face time

While LinkedIn, Facebook and other forms of online social networking are valuable, nothing can replace face-to-face time with a potential employer. Parents can aid children (long before they’re graduating from college) by teaching them how to network in person. Making a personal connection with someone cuts straight through the contact lists and sound bites. Hiring managers and industry organizations will remember the “go-getters.” As Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up” – and that means showing up in person.

Don’t discard online social media in the process, suggests Fox Business. Social recruiting apps on Facebook like Branch Out and Career Amp are tools any social media-savvy student can use. is another site to visit, and LinkedIn has become increasingly popular as a professional online networking tool.

Call in some favors

The by-product of real social networking is having people in important positions whom you can call for favors. Parents should not be afraid to call people they know if it means helping their graduates secure an internship.

Make sure your grad knows the ‘Big Five’

In order to become a successful intern, the student job blog I Am Next suggests applicants apply the following:

  1. Sell yourself to win over your supervisor.
  2. Work hard and pay your dues.
  3. Understand what you’re after.
  4. Appreciate the lessons learned from your supervisor.
  5. Don’t leave the internship without a letter of recommendation.


Fox Business

I Am Next

Student internships are a learning opportunity

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