/ Asked by Kenya
I am heading into my junior year in college but did not get the internships I hoped for this summer. What else can I do to be marketable and not look like I wasted my summer? So many jobs are electronic applications so I won't be able to explain my situation. I have good reasons because I was needed to help care for my grandmother and some other family things but I don't think I can talk about it. I could do something part time but don't know what you would suggest? Does volunteering matter to companies? (I'm a journalism/comm major)
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Monday, June 2, 2014
A structured community service program where you spend just as much time volunteering as you would for a part-time job is a great way to gain additional experience and help strengthen your resume.  Look for opportunities that are meaningful to you personally, but also where you can take on an active leadership role.  Being in a position where you have leadership responsibilities throughout the summer will be a strong lever to use when interviewing for future internships and/or full-time employment.  I would also suggest making sure to get out early and start trying to secure a future internship starting this fall.  Your Career Services Office is a great resource to help you create a strong resume, practice interviewing and in general help get you prepared to land a great internship for next summer.    
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I think it’s great that you are thinking about other options for this summer even though you weren’t able to take on an internship. My suggestion would be to try and get a part time job related to the field you are interested in pursuing. Doing volunteer work as well would be another good option, and will again show your interest in the field you want to go into after graduation. Having these experiences on your resume will still catch the eye of a recruiter and through these experiences you will also have plenty of talking points when you are in an interview for a position. Recruiters also like to see that students are well rounded so any experience, even if it happens to be unrelated, won’t hurt you because it will show that you are well-rounded. Good luck and enjoy your summer!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, June 6, 2014
Internships are great, but they are not the only thing that companies look at when considering someone to hire.  The most important qualification for a job is your character.  Therefore, yes, volunteering and other community and campus activities do matter to companies.  If you assumed a leadership role in these activities, that is even better.  On your resume, you should structure it in a way that emphasizes your education and your volunteer/community activity.  If you can show a recruiter on your resume that you are a candidate with high character, plus leadership skills, that will help you to obtain interviews.  Once you have an interview, you can explain the personal reasons for not obtaining an internship.
Answered by Kathleen, Hiring Expert at ADP, on Thursday, June 12, 2014
Volunteering absolutely matters to a company and you can learn some very marketable skills while you are volunteering your time. If you are unable to find an internship this summer concentrate on finding a part time internship while you are in school your senior year. Since you are a Journalism major, one good place to start would be your school newspaper. Also, it is very important to get involved in extracurricular activities and take leadership roles on campus. It will assist you in growing your skill set as well as give you opportunities to network with other students and business leaders that are involved at your university. Good luck!  
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