Recently an old intern of mine called to ask some career advice. He is still in college, and is trying to secure a 4th internship before he graduates. I’m a big fan of this. My theory (correct or not) is that you need to fill your career plate with unique experiences. However, I may have just saved him from wasting copious amounts of time in the next few months. He has been trying to find internships at job fairs. This is a terrible idea, especially in this economic climate.
A job fair, in my opinion, is the absolute worst place to find a job. It is especially bad for securing a good internship. What’s the alternative? Outthink your competition. Write down a list of 10 companies that you would like to work for, and get on the phone. Call and tell them that you would like to apply for their internship position. Yes, they may say that they don’t have one, but then you can say, “well, get one.” You can create your own career path simply by asking. Every job that I have ever had has happened this way. I have created every position that I had ever applied for.
Don’t stand in line with 500 other people looking for lame jobs that you don’t want. Create your own!!!
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.