E-Net News

Career Moves: Networking, interview advice lead to internship

Adam Price wanted to see for himself the daily routine of a software programmer, and when an opportunity arose last spring to intern with a North Carolina firm that coordinates the shipment and storage of goods for corporate clients like Boeing and Sony, the Elon junior moved quickly. His first stop? The Elon Career Center.

“In the workplace, when you’re programming, you’re doing something that may not have been done before," said Elon junior Adam Price, who landed an internship with New Breed Logistics over the summer. "There isn’t explicit documentation saying ‘this is how you do this.’"

Price is the first person to be featured this fall in a four-part series of E-net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who use the Career Center to not only find job and internship openings, but to prepare for interviews and polish resumes with guidance from Career Services staff.

In an eight-week summer internship with New Breed Logistics in High Point, N.C., Price worked on software for viewing company documents through a web browser. “I was looking for a software internship to get experience programming outside the classroom,” said the computer science major. “And I was curious to see how different it was from the things we were programming in class.”

His first lesson in finding an internship? Use your network.

Louis DeJoy, a member of the university’s board of trustees, leads New Breed. After DeJoy informed university leaders that his company had an open position, Price learned the value of working with professors and staff to pinpoint opportunities.

Another lesson? Prepare for an interview by polishing resumes and having others critique your appearance, presentation and delivery.

Career Services executive director Tom Vecchione worked one-on-one with Price before the internship. The duo streamlined Price’s resume, and Vecchione offered tips for an interview in High Point, which included conversations with a half dozen company executives.

“He’s a good example of ‘you never know who you’ll be meeting with,’” Vecchione said. “He went right to the top with his interviews, starting with the CEO. You want to prepare for that."

Price’s interview wasn’t exactly typical, Vecchione added, but it’s a classic example of why being prepared is important.

So what did Price, a native of Salem, Va., learn from his internship at New Breed? Simple, he said. The classroom is a whole lot different than the work place.

“In the classroom they teach you how to do something. You have a textbook you can look at to explain things,” said Price, who has hopes of one day working for Google or Microsoft. “In the workplace, when you’re programming, you’re doing something that may not have been done before. There isn’t explicit documentation saying ‘this is how you do this.’

“I knew Career Services was there, but I didn’t really know very much about what they had to offer, or what kind of help they could provide me. I encourage other students, even if they have the smallest inkling to get help, they should check it out to see if there’s a resources they can be shown that can help them.”

Students and alumni looking for more information on internship and career opportunities, plus services that university staff can provide for a job hunt, should visit Elon Career Services on the first floor of the Duke Building or by exploring the office’s website at www.elon.edu/careers.

Eric Townsend,
10/1/2010 1:55 PM