Q&A with Brian Moaddeli: Why College Internships Matter More Now than Ever
The current Vice President of Northern and Southern California branches of College Works Painting, a respected entrepreneurial leadership program, Brian Moaddeli experienced outstanding success as an entrepreneur while still in high school and hasn’t slowed down since. Brian Moaddeli now shares his perspective on the value of college internships and how they can significantly influence post-graduate success.
Is it better to sign up for summer school or take an internship?
Consider the summers between your years in college as opportunities to add dimension to your experience. These summers can truly make a difference in how potential employers view you in an interview or on your resume when applying for jobs after graduation. If like most students you’re studying full-time during the school year, I’d recommend you use the summer break to look into other meaningful experiences. To me, an internship is a great way to expand your horizons, since it allows you to gain work experience, network, and develop your resume. If an internship isn’t for you, try finding something that shows your initiative like volunteering internationally, or studying abroad and learning a new language. Challenge yourself and push your boundaries and you’ll effectively impress in future interviews and enrich yourself as an individual.
I’ve always wanted to work for a certain organization, but they aren’t hiring for entry level positions. What can I do?
If your dream is to work for a certain company or organization, the best way to get a long-term position is to become an intern for them while you’re still in school or recently graduated. In some industries, like fashion or sports, interning one of the only ways to break in, but the competitive nature of today’s job market has made working as an intern much more common than in years past. Working as an intern can help you build experience and network with current company employees, as well as show off your skills and prove that you’re worth a full-time position. If the company you love isn’t hiring, be tenacious and ready to do whatever it takes (even working unpaid). If you can work it out, the experience and ‘foot in the door’ you gain could pay off in landing your dream job.
Isn’t it better to concentrate on education while I’m in school and then working after graduation?
I feel there is a misconception floating around college campuses that students will be able to land a job after graduation based solely on their degree and aspirations. In today’s economy students are competing harder than ever for that first job, enabling employers to be more selective about which candidates to hire—which basically means, students need to do everything they can to distinguish themselves from the pack. “Strong communication skills” and “a great work ethic” are wonderful qualities to have, but exemplifying them through work experience is much more powerful to a potential employer than simply talking about them. Employers are more likely to think, ‘If they haven’t done it by the time they’re a senior, what’s to say they’re going to do it post-grad?’ Develop yourself into a well-rounded individual before jumping into the job market after college, and your actions will back up your words.