Internship and Job Search – What’s Unique About CAS?

One thing that is often challenging for CAS students is presenting their skills and experience in the right way for the job they want. It’s easy for your friend who is a Public Relations major, with two PR internships under her belt, to say she wants to go into public relations. A recruiter looking at her resume might have little trouble making the connection that she is prepared for an entry‐level opportunity in the field. What does a History major, with an internship in guest services at a museum, say if he also wants to go into public relations? He may have developed very similar skill sets, but going by only job titles and majors, that may be less obvious to someone who doesn’t know him. While this is partly a resume problem, it also ties into the entire application and job search process. In everything you do—resumes, emails, phone calls, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, elevator pitch—you must be able to convey to a complete stranger why you are a great candidate for their opportunity even if your academic training isn’t a straight line connection to that industry.

Don’t worry! It isn’t as tough as it sounds. You need to consider your whole self, not just your major or official internships. It has often been said that students in professionally oriented programs like business or engineering will market a major, while liberal arts students will market their skills. While it is certainly more important for certain majors, an emphasis on a skill set rather than (or in addition to) an academic major is becoming increasingly important for all candidates.

CAS alumni have gone on to a wide array of jobs and careers not directly related to their academic training. Start thinking of all the great skills you already have and how you can prove them to your future employer. Not all skills are developed in the classroom—think about all your experience including internships, summer jobs, study abroad, service learning, clubs and activities, volunteer work, athletics, and research with faculty.