Welcome back to our college series, where we talk about issues relating to students working towards a degree in the arts. In this post, we will discuss the process of finding a job or internship while you are still in school.
While in school, most students need a job to help pay for tuition, rent, or food. You can get any job that's not in your field and it will pay, which is great. But, sometimes you want a job in your field that can not only help pay the bills but also teach you skills relating to your degree and your future career. Don't expect to find something great right away. There's a lot of searching and resumes to be sent out. Look for small entry level positions that might even be part time. When looking, try to find something that you already have some knowledge about but want to learn more. This can be further explained in a cover letter letting the possible employer know that you are a student who will work hard and actually wants to learn. Over time, these part time, assistant-like, jobs can grow, as long as you work for it.
In addition to jobs, most college students need internships. Some schools require them to graduate and others just suggest them. Internships are often slightly easier to find than jobs because most of the time, they are unpaid. But, while they might be unpaid, you are probably going to learn a lot that will help you get a job in the future. Don't just chose any old internship to graduate, really search and find something that you are genuinely interested in. If a place doesn't advertise internships, there's no harm in sending an email asking if they would be open to having an intern.
Looking for jobs and internships is often overwhelming and stressful. Many colleges have career centers that have information about places that other students have worked. Ask your friends and teachers about any open positions they hear about. There are also great resources online that allow you to put in criteria for the type of job that you would like. Hireculture is a great website that lists hundreds of creative jobs and internships in Massachusetts. There is also Indeed, which is a national database that lets you put in keywords as well as your location to find both jobs and internships in any field.
You might not find your dream job right away, but once you get your foot in the door of the arts related job market, and you can build up from there.