On Monday April 3, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Career Services will debut a new event entitled, “Just-In-Time Fair: Summer Internships, Experience and Opportunities”. This event will be aimed at helping students of all majors and degree levels secure last-minute summer internships and experiential opportunities in a casual, relaxed environment.
Having internships and experiences during summer vacation is a great way for students to build career skills and gain career experience without the constraints of a typical semester schedule. Additionally, summer internships and experience help students to network and build connections that may help them enter careers upon graduation.
Last summer, Samantha Weeder, a sophomore Agribusiness major received a merchandising internship with ADM. Weeder said they found the internship through familial connections and was able to gain hands-on experience that could not be gained in the classroom.
“They let me actually do hands-on merchandising,” Weeder said. “And so, I was able to pick up the phone and talk to farmers. And I was able to actually make contracts, which is so cool. Overall, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever taken.”
With such a positive internship experience last summer, Weeder attended the fall career fair to search for other opportunities. Now awaiting the start of an internship with Corteva Agriscience, Weeder is hopeful to have more experiences and networking opportunities through this position.
“I’m hoping to gain more real-life experiences, because I’ve only worked on our farm all my life,” Weeder said. “So, I’m hoping to gain more professional skills. I’m hoping to gain a wider connection and people maybe a clearer path of what I wanted to do when I grow up.”
In the summer of 2021, then freshman, Kaitlyn Pope took a remote operations internship with Sportsforce as she was exploring the option of switching her major from pre-dental to finance and economics.
“I hadn’t really had a whole lot of business experience before that, so I kind of wanted to jump in right away,” Pope said. “Kind of like figure out if I wanted to go that route.”
Having a remote internship, Pope said she also gained skills unique to her experience that normally aren’t as prevalent in an in-person role.
“I learned how to be more self-sufficient,” Pope said. “I didn’t have a manager looking over me while I was doing my work. So, I had to make sure I had things done effectively and efficiently so I could send things out and have them reviewed] by somebody halfway across the country.”
After her summer internship, Pope said she realized the importance of having career experiences while in college as a means of determining which career path to follow.
“I think it’s important to be able to determine if that’s what you want to do,” Pope said. “I came in as a biology, pre-dental major, and I figured out that’s absolutely not what I want to do from shadowing experiences. Then I found this internship and that helped me hone in on the fact that I wanted to do something with numbers, so from there, I picked finance.”
The Just-In-Time fair will be held on April 3, from 2-4pm in the Nebraska Union. Different from a typical career fair, students are encouraged to come as they are in-between classes for this relaxed, casual event. To learn more about the event, including a list of employers attending, visit the Just-In-Time Fair webpage.
Now a peer career coach for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Weeder helps fellow students with their career development. Weeder recommends that students attend the Just-In-Time fair if they are still looking for summer opportunities.
“Don’t be afraid to go out and jump into uncomfortable situations and embrace yourself,” Weeder said. “Keep working, keep asking questions, keep talking to your peers. And don’t be afraid to go out in those uncomfortable situations and throw yourself out there.”