How To Get Hired Right Out of College With The Right Internship

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Improving economic conditions have finally caught up to millennials, providing them with a brighter job market, according to the United States Department of Labor. But a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York report says the devil is in the details. Not all new college graduates are doing equally well. The kind of degree they earned is an enormous factor in the job hunt. “There’s no question that your field of study significantly alters your prospects, but even having chosen the right field is no guarantee,” says Matt Stewart, an entrepreneur and co-founder of College Works Painting (, an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students. He offers tips about what students should look for in an internship so they can gain the professional experience they need to land a job after graduation.

  • Know what you will actually be doing. While simply being in a company’s culture has value, many businesses assign students to their lowest-level work. Grunt work, to some extent, is a fact of life in most professions. But that kind of work won’t propel a student’s career. Consider an internship that gives you real responsibility and provides experiences that will definitely come in handy in your future career.
  • Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

  • Consider a company’s internship recognition. Don’t accept an internship with just any organization. Think about the business awards the company has won, the type of articles that have been written about the company, and how the company contributes to their industry and community. If you can, get information on how other former interns fared.
  • For any student, real experience is crucial. Whether you’re an artist, athlete, musician, theater major, English student, a STEM-field student, or a business major or future entrepreneur, getting experience often comes with a heavy price. This includes the loss of personal or family finances. Look for opportunities that provide guidance while allowing you to apply skills to real-life challenges such as budgeting, marketing, and managing employees. These are transferable skills that apply to any industry.

Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners.

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