Let’s Talk About Externships!

Winter break is a much needed time to relax and let your brain rest after finals, but with all that free time, you might start to get bored or antsy. So why not try an externship out?

You might wonder what an externship is. You’ve probably heard of internships, but the two are quite different from one another.

The great thing about externships is that they provide an opportunity to learn from someone in your field of interest by shadowing them, asking questions, and getting a firsthand glimpse into what their career looks like.

Externships are different from internships in that they typically last anywhere from one day to perhaps a week or two, which is perfect for breaks during the winter or spring! Externships are also, for the most part, unpaid, as they exist to give you a preview of a potential career field.

Typically internships have the possibility of becoming a full time job later on, but externships still offer the possibility of networking, finding a mentor, or even gaining an internship through the experience!

Perhaps the coolest part of externships, though, is that you can pick your own experience! Students are encouraged to reach out to professionals directly in their community and create their own experience by asking to job shadow them. So get out there and contact someone in your area today to set up an externship for break!

For some examples of externships, check out CNU Career Connect for current listings with Virginia Asset Management and INOVA Trauma Acute Surgery Externship!

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is defined as distinctive qualities and images one presents to open doors to opportunities.  Did you know that you can create your own personal brand when job or internship searching? Taking time to reflect on who you are as an individual and your unique skills/qualities can set you apart from other candidates. You can even include these unique skills/qualities on your resume, LinkedIn profile, business cards, thank you cards, etc. Personal branding may come in the form of a logo or a listing of particular skills that the reader will see on your application documents as well as your LinkedIn profile or perhaps electronic portfolio.

You are your own brand.  Your brand signifies your credibility, work ethic, and active demeanor.  Your brand is an experience you offer through personal interaction with others.  It could be establishing your presence in the workplace, having drive, vision, accomplishing tasks with excellence, establishing new ideas or paradigms, and being ambitious in attaining one’s goals (career goals and personal/self- development goals).  One can capitalize on their uniqueness, through the means of whatever qualities or characteristics one deems solely unique to them.

Being constantly aware of what you should be implementing to reach your future career goal. Stay focused on what you want to achieve and be mindful of the skills you have developed as well as areas you need to develop. Seek opportunities for continued learning and professional development. This drive and self-awareness will help you succeed.images