The past two weeks have been crazy busy with exams, homework, club meetings, applications and interviews. College keeps you extremely busy, but it also provides you with many opportunities to be involved on campus and to look for jobs. I would have never thought that as a sophomore, I would already be looking at internships and co-ops. Internships are normally 12 weeks long and run during the summer. Co-ops, are cooperative education experiences that allow students to apply the knowledge they learn in class to real-world experiences in the workforce. These programs generally run in the fall of a student’s junior year and require you to take the classes you would miss that semester, in the summer. Both are great opportunities to gain hands-on experience and also to become one step closer to obtaining a full-time job after college.
Lehigh University has a great career services office and really helps students be prepared to look for internships, co-ops and jobs. I wasn’t planning on looking at internships until winter break, but I am glad I got a head start. On September 20, Lehigh University hosted a Career Fair where over 200 companies were represented and interested in hiring Lehigh students. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the companies and for the companies to learn more about us. Some examples of the companies there were Hershey, AirProducts, ExxonMobil, TEConnectivity, Merck, Chrysler, Boeing, and so many more. Some companies were even accepting resumes and interviewed the students briefly. Lehigh’s Career Services also hosted a Resume Marathon before the Career Fair for students to stop by the career services office and have someone look over their resumes. I attended this and found it to be extremely helpful. They also hosted a separate career fair just for students majoring in Chemical Engineering. AirProducts, Linde, ExxonMobil and Gore had representatives there to give presentations about the companies and take questions.
Although I had many exams the following week after the career fair, I knew that it was also very important to apply to internship and co-op programs that had early deadlines. So, I took that weekend to finalize my resume, fill out applications and write cover letters. I applied to Merck, AirProducts, ExxonMobil, TEConnectivity and Colgate. The following week I had two phone interviews for Colgate, an on campus interview with AirProducts and an on campus interview with ExxonMobil. The interviews were challenging but also relaxed at the same time. It was a great way to learn more about the companies and the programs they offered. Lehigh’s career services also has interview tips online and sample questions that were really helpful.
I am so glad that there is always someone here at Lehigh to help when you have questions about anything and to assist you with a process you’re confused about. I started out not knowing how the application processes work for internships and co-ops and now, I have a summer internship offer for next summer already. I’m excited to hear back from the other companies and have learned a lot through this career search process.