GET A JOB OR EXPERIENCE
Experiential learning encompasses a wide variety of enriching opportunities for students, including service-learning, volunteering, student organization leadership and campus involvement, faculty-led research and projects, experiential study abroad, student employment/work-study, cooperative education, and internships*.
Source: “A Definition and Criteria to Assess Opportunities And Determine the Implications for Compensation,” National Association of Colleges and Employers
The Stony Brook University Career Center offers more than 2,000 internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students every year. This section of our website contains information and resources to assist you in identifying and securing this important aspect of your university experience.
- Types of Internships (Coming soon!)
- Internship Eligibility (Coming soon!)
- Credit vs Non-credit Internships (Coming soon!)
- EXP+ requirements (Coming soon!)
- EXT 288/488 Internship Program
Handshake is the Stony Brook University employer database, containing thousands of employer records. Handshake is the first resource you should use to identify employers and apply for internships. Hundreds of opportunities are posted every semester.
In fact, Handshake is used for ALL employment – part-time jobs, work-study, on-campus employment, community service positions, gap-year opportunities, and full-time post-graduation positions. For help using Handshake, stop by the Career Center during business hours.
The mission of the Stony Brook University Career Center Cooperative Education Program, in partnership with employers and faculty, is to provide students with paid, degree-enhancing, professional work experience.
Benefits of co-ops:
- Encourage student growth by providing opportunities that link classroom theory with world-of-work practice in various industries
- Empower students to make informed career decisions and move toward achieving an advantage in a competitive job market, while earning academic credit
- Provide the practical foundation needed to gain admission to the top graduate schools
How does a Co-op Position Differ from an Internship?
While an internship may be paid or unpaid, a co-op position is always a paid position and students are required to enroll in an academic course for variable credit. Co-ops are high-level positions that allow students to directly apply what they have learned in their coursework and gain industry experience. “Co-op vs Internship” (Coming soon!).
Co-op Structures & Registration (Coming soon!)
Student/Employer/Faculty Responsibilities (Coming soon!)
Timeline to Apply (Coming soon!)
Handshake is the first resource you should use to identify employers and apply for co-ops.
For help using Handshake, stop by the Career Center during business hours.
- Hundreds of student employment positions on campus: student assistant, graduate assistant, federal work-study, research assistant, and more
- Collaborations with more than 360 academic and administrative hiring departments
- Handshake: application and recruiting database where students search and apply for on-campus positions: <Jobs & Internships<Job Type<On Campus Student Employment
- Training and professional development workshops
- Meaningful learning and development opportunities
- Enhanced student employment practices across the campus
For more information, see the On-Campus Student Employment website. With additional questions, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service-learning integrates classroom instruction and reflection with meaningful community service to enrich the learning experience and strengthen communities. The Career Center connects employers with academic and administrative departments to work with students on projects that benefit the agencies and community. Some exemplary SBU service-learning projects are coordinated with several community agencies and students from the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, College of Business, Campus Residences and others.
Student groups are a great place to build skills. You do not have to be the President of a student organization to build leadership skills. There are over 400+ student organizations to meet a variety of interests, ranging from cultural to professional and everything in between.
Please note: College students across the US continue to be targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This " employment" results in a financial loss for participating students.
While the Career Center vets each and every employer and job posting in Handshake, some of these scammers have been very sophisticated in finding a way into the system with fake emails.
For this reason, we are asking that you contact us immediately if you are suspicious about any employers that may reach out to you, or jobs you have applied to on any site, not just Handshake.
Handshake is Stony Brook’s job database for students and alumni. It is innovative, intuitive, and mobile!
- Search for all types of jobs, including part-time and full-time employment, gap year, student employment positions, internships on/off campus and volunteer opportunities
- Become eligible for campus interviews and resume referral
- Track your job search, including job listings for which you have applied
- Send your resume to employers
- Receive e-mails about upcoming career events
A demo video is available within Handshake - you can login to view it and learn more.
If you need help, of course, you're always welcome at the Career Center! You can also call us at (631) 632-6810, or email us at email@example.com.
Connect with employers from various industries to uncover the information you want and make a good impression on those with the power to give you a job!
Take advantage of the many networking opportunities the Career Center offers each year!
Alumni Networking Mixer (Annual Spring Semester Event)
Career Advisors Networking (CAN) Program
Use multiple resources
- We strongly encourage all students and alumni to use Handshake to search for experience. Over 24,000 positions were posted in Handshake during the 2016-2017 academic year. You’ll also want to take advantage of additional resources to help maximize your search efforts. You can view additional resources below under Employer Search Resources and Additional Resources.
- It’s never too early to begin searching! If you find something you are not yet qualified for, you can work towards developing the necessary skills and apply in the future. Make sure to save the information for future reference.
- How long a position is posted for can depend on a few different factors including the deadline the recruiter has to meet, the length of the recruitment process, and how many applications are received.
Save job descriptions
- Internet links can change or expire. Saving or printing job descriptions not only helps with preparing your written materials but also with interview preparation and organization of your search process.
- You can create a spreadsheet or any other method that you prefer to track your applications. Staying organized during your job search helps you to see where you have applied and prioritize deadlines that are approaching first.
Sharpen your resume & cover letter
- Your written materials are the first thing a recruiter sees. Find out more about resume and cover letter preparation and review here.
Save your documents with appropriate titles
- The last thing a recruiter needs is a file titled ‘resume.’ All documents submitted should have clear and concise titles. Ex. Resume of John Doe - Company - Position; Cover Letter of John Doe - Company - Position
Manage your internet presence
- Recognize how you represent yourself via social media and the internet. Design your presence to reflect how you want to be perceived by a recruiter. You can find out more about building your brand here.
- Understand and know the industry and field you are applying to.
The following databases, are accessible with your NetID and password through the Stony Brook University Libraries:
Exploration Through Experience
Experience can help you to learn more about who you are, what you like and what you do not like. Whether or not you have a specific career path in mind, experience will help you to try new things, build skills and learn about yourself. From entry-level employee to experienced professional, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow.
Build Transferable Skills
Transferable skills are skills and abilities that can be applied in various settings and throughout different experiences. These skills will continue to develop as you progress in your career. They are useful across industries and professions, meaning they will never go to waste!
Have What Employers Look For
Increase the competitiveness of your application by building experience! Understanding industry expectations and needs can help you identify experiential opportunities to pursue. Find out what employers are looking for through on-campus employer events and through career communities!
Professional associations exist across industries and help to connect professionals to others in their fields, as well as to help support the progression of the field. Professional associations offer a variety of resources including networking opportunities, industry requirements and recent publications. Many professional associations offer discounted memberships to students.
Some examples of professional associations include:
- CareerBliss : Job listings, salary information, company reviews, and other resources.
- InternShop : Fill out one application and be automatically matched with paid internship opportunities across New York State.
- Looksharp : Internships, entry-level jobs, and resources for the job seeker.
- MindSumo : Not just a job board, MindSumo allows students to take part in employer-created challenges - for example, proposing the next great condiment or a more efficient way to sort objects - to win prizes and get their ideas in front of recruiters.
- SimplyHired : Job and internship listings of all types, company database, tips for job seekers, and more.
- New York Jobs : Positions throughout New York State.
- Tip Top Job : Jobs in the United States and worldwide.
- Vault : Thousands of jobs and internships posted daily, in addition to industry & company information and career development tips.
- Youthire.org: Youthire.org connects local residents with Stony Brook University students to perform temporary, short-term odd-jobs. There will also be listings for part-time and permanent employment situations. Registration with the website is free and is required before you can apply for jobs..
Weeks Leading Up To The Event
If you want to leave employers with a good impression, you’ll want to make sure that you have a polished resume that demonstrates professionalism and experience. If you do not have a resume, begin by creating a rough draft. ( Consult our resume writing guide for some advice on this initial step!) Once you have a resume, visit the Career Center to have it reviewed by a staff member. You should have your resume critiqued early. This will give you time to polish and review it. Remember, the closer it gets to the job fair, the longer the wait to have it reviewed!
Log on to Handshaketo view the list of companies attending the job fair and the positions they are hiring for. Make a list of the companies you would like to meet and prioritize them in order of importance to you.
Research is essential; you want to show that you are passionate, knowledgeable and interested in the company! Each company listing will include a website where you can find information on the company, work atmosphere, and client base. Make a list of important points and questions for each employer. ** For tips on researching employers, click this link.(HINT: You don’t want to ask questions that you could have answered yourself by doing research beforehand).**
A comprehensive, well-executed job search includes learning about potential employers. This learning should come before you apply for positions.
Why is it Important?
Researching employers is important because you want to find out which organizations have the types of positions that you are interested in. It’s also important to know what makes these organizations different from one another, which best align with your values, which are the most successful based on your criteria, how they operate internally and within their respective industries, how they treat their employees, and what these organizations are looking for in prospective employees—all this information enables you to tailor your resume to meet the organization’s needs.
What are the Advantages?
You will have an informational advantage against other applicants. You will be able to ask targeted questions based on your research about each specific company or organization.
Also, you will learn which organizations you like and weigh them against the organizations that you don’t like as much, so you know where to focus your energy.
Researching employers requires planning. This section of the website is here to show you one way to organize your research:
Find out which organizations exist in your preferred industry.
- For example, if you are interested in the communications industry and specifically in public relations, you want to find out: Who are the top companies in PR? The largest? The most well known? Then, who are their competitors? Mid-size or smaller PR firms? Are there communications companies with PR divisions? If you have a specialization or preference (e.g. PR in a specific industry like health care), you must identify organizations in your specialty area and find out if they have PR departments or if they outsource that function to agencies.
To find companies, you can use:
- Professional associations, such as the Public Relations Society of America or Public Relations Professionals of Long Island
- Search engines, such as Google
Once you have a list of company names, begin the search for company information.
See below for widgets from Buzzfile.com and Glassdoor.com.
- On this page
- Vault Career Insider
The following databases, accessible with your NetID and password through the Stony Brook University Libraries:
- Hoover’s Academic Database
- Vocational and Career Collection
- Business Source Complete Business Insights: Essentials
- LexisNexis Academic
Use these tools to learn about companies’ functions and structure. (Hoover’s Academic Database allows you to search for employees, too, so that in the future you might contact these professionals and request informational interviews.)
Follow organizations on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and any other social sites they use.
- On LinkedIn, you may be able to learn more about the types of positions that open up, who fills them, and what those people think is important in the industry, based on the articles they post.
- Many organizations use Facebook to highlight their achievements or advertise themselves to those who like their pages. You can compare different organizations’ Facebook posts to determine which you think have the better overall online presence and marketing campaigns. You can also qualitatively evaluate which types of achievements - which were once projects - you would rather be working on. The information on Facebook, it should be noted, does not cover everything that an employer does, but should be thought of as a snapshot of the organization.
- Organizations use Twitter to promote their goods and services, attract more customers, and create an overall brand. By paying attention to an organization’s Twitter feed, you may come to know what that brand is. By knowing the brand, you can really begin to differentiate between two competing organizations, in a way that is more substantial than simply knowing how many employees each hires per year.
Organizations use all social media to manage their images in some way. Because of their online presence, social media can be another tool for you to use while analyzing the pros and cons of potential employers.
After you have identified a list of potential organizations and investigated more deeply into their missions, values, products, services, locations, fiscal health, etc., you can narrow things down to a manageable list of your target employers. We suggest that you have at least 35 organizations to begin with, but that could increase fourfold if you are open to multiple industries and professions. Depending on the size of the industry you are looking into, the number of organizations per industry on your list could be larger or smaller than 35.
Research takes time – many hours, in fact – but your investment into learning more about your target industry and the companies within will benefit you a great deal as you apply and interview.
Once you feel that you have collected and analyzed enough information to decide which organizations you want to work in, you can begin looking at job postings, continue to network, and submit your applications. Good luck!
Prepare your 60-second commercial. This is a brief introduction to give to an employer when you first meet. While it isn’t necessary to memorize a speech word for word, having an idea of what you will say to employers will enable you to approach them with confidence and poise. Come up with a commercial at least a few days before the event; this will give you time to rehearse it until it sounds natural. A good example of a 60-second commercial is below.
Sample 60-Second Commercial
How are you? My name is Jennifer Chang. [Handshake.] It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m a SBU student currently majoring in business management. I will be graduating in May 2016. I’ve heard wonderful things about your company, and I’m interested in applying for your internship program. May I give you a copy of my resume? As you can see, I already have experience at Target and Canon, and in those positions, I developed my leadership, communication, and organization skills more fully. I’m confident that I could apply those skills as an intern at your company, and I hope you’ll consider my application! Again, it was so nice to meet you, and I hope to talk with you again soon. By any chance, do you have a business card that I could take with me?
60-second commercials are brief introductions that help the employer get a sense of who you are. Things you could possibly include are your educational background, skills, strengths, and accomplishments, job focus, and career plans.
**This example is for reference only. Visit the Career Center to polish your own commercial!
Note: Digital guides are now available for all of our job & internship fairs! You can access them via the Stony Brook University's Career Fair plus app on any mobile device or tablet.
The Day Before
Make sure that you have several copies of your resume printed out. Ideally, you should have your resume printed on high-quality paper. You can purchase this at any store that sells office supplies, or you can have the UPS Store on the ground floor of the Melville Library print your resume on resume paper for a fee.
Review your resume, your 60-second commercial, and the list of companies you have researched. Make sure you can recall the questions you have prepared for each employer. A good example of a 60-second commercial is included at the end of this document.
Lay out your clothes and pack your briefcase/bag. Business casual or business professional attire is required for SBU job fairs. For example, visit this here.
Mentally prepare yourself for the event. Aim to make a great impression, but maintain a positive mindset of outcome-independence to avoid becoming overly anxious. Get a good night's sleep.
At the Event
Be confident! You want recruiters to remember you. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly confident on the day of the event, convince others (and yourself!) by using positive body language. Walk upright, speak clearly, project your voice, enunciate, and make eye contact with everyone you speak to. Don’t slouch, avert your eyes, fold your arms, or mumble; it’ll make you seem distracted and unprofessional.
Give yourself time to calm your nerves. Don’t go to the company at the top of your list first; warm up beforehand by approaching employers lower on your list of priorities.
If you happen to be waiting in line to talk to an employer, don’t waste valuable time talking to your friends. Stay focused. Read some brochures to learn more about the company while you are waiting. This may give you a few more talking points, it might impress the employer, and it will help keep you focused.
Greet the employer with a firm handshake and a smile. Display your interest by being attentive and asking them the questions you have prepared. Make sure to exchange contact information before concluding the conversation with a handshake!
Take breaks if needed. Sometimes it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Step to the side, collect your thoughts, and get ready for the next employer. If you need help, just look for a Career Center staff member in a red shirt.
After the Event
Make sure to follow up properly with any employers you spoke to. Whether through email or LinkedIn, reach out to them within 24 hours to solidify the connection you made at the fair. Send a polite, concise message saying that it was a pleasure to speak with them at the event, and that you look forward to hearing from them in the near future. As an alternative, you might consider sending a personalized thank-you note. Either way, following up with an employer is the polite thing to do and will reiterate your interest in the company.
If you need any more advice, visit the Career Center to speak with a counselor or to attend a Preparing for the Job Fair workshop. Good luck!
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Beyond the Classroom Experience Report