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Science student with a PREPs career counselor meeting for a one-on-one career counseling session

Science student with a PREPs career counselor meeting for a one-on-one career counseling session.

Jobs and internships

Need help with your Science job or internship search? See below for step-by-step guides for your search and networking and personal brand creation tips.

Also, be sure to check out the career resources page to learn how to write compelling resumes, CVs, research statements and more. If you are a member of IUPUI's Honors College or the School of Science (either currently enrolled or an alumni), please schedule a free one-on-one career advising appointment.

Job search

Whether you’re still in school or you’ve graduated, finding an internship or job is difficult, stressful, and time consuming. Make the process less stressful by reviewing the 3 step job search plan below and schedule an appointment with a PREPs career counselor

Step 1: Assess Yourself

Begin your job search with some honest self reflection. Ask yourself:

  • How well do I know myself?
    • What are my unique strengths?
    • What are my values?
    • What are my hobbies and passions?
    • Do I need to take a self-assessment such as Myers-Briggs?
  • What do I have to offer an employer?
    • What are my skills?
    • What are my experiences?
  • How do I want to contribute?
    • What type of work do I find meaningful?
    • What vision do I want to achieve?
    • What missions do I want to serve?
  • What is my ideal job?
    • What kind of people do I want to work with and how might this influence the industry I choose to work in?
    • What type of environment do I want to work in? Do I prefer to work outdoors, or do I do my best work in a cubicle?
    • What is my ideal workload? How important is work-life balance important to me?
    • What type of benefits do I want? How much do I want to earn, and how hard am I willing to work for that income?
  • What industry do I want to be in?
  • Where do I want this job to take me in the next 10-15 years?

It is easy to overlook these questions when you are stressed and in need of a job, but being confident about what type of job you seek will make you a stronger candidate because you will be better able to articulate why you are well suited for the position.

Struggling to answer these questions? Check out these resources:

Step 2: Search Smarter not Harder

Job searching can become an all-consuming pursuit if you aren't strategic. To protect your valuable time, PREPs has handpicked the best sites to look for your next job. Don't search harder, search smarter with these resources:

  • ScienceLink is our new career services management database. It's a powerful tool that connects School of Science students and alumni with exceptional career and internship opportunities. Every day we evaluate each job posting and determine if it satisfies NACE standards. 
  • Search for jobs by major: PREPs has put together this list of organizations where you can search for jobs by your major.
  • Student Employment: if you are looking for a job on campus be sure to visit the Office of Student Employment. 
  • The Next Step Fair is a great opportunity to meet with many employers at one place. Help each spring, the next step fair will connect you with a broad range of job options suited to your major.

Keep in mind that achieving ambitious career goals require time. Your first job is probably not going to be your dream job. Rather, it will be an opportunity for you to learn about the industry, yourself, and gain valuable experience. Think of each job as a stepping stone towards your ultimate destination.

See ScienceLink job board

Step 3: Apply

Your application materials form the first impression of hiring managers. Yet employers consistently report receiving cover letters riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Submit an error-free, standout resume and cover letter by using our "Resumes & More" section then make an appointment at PREPs for a full review.

PREPs also holds resume reviews every semester in the SL/LD lobby, see our event calendar for the next "Resumania" event.

Career Resources

Glassdoor for Students

Glassdoor for Students has recently launched. It is a free resource customized to meet the specific needs of today's students, allowing them to find and research the latest internships, entry-level jobs and salaries, career tips and more.

CareerBliss

CareerBliss is a free online career community that empowers job seekers with millions of jobs, reviews, and salaries, along with hundreds of career advice articles.

Meaning and Pay

Explore jobs by seeing how different workers rate job meaning, salary, stress and job satisfaction. This interactive graph allows you to explore the pros and cons of over 450 jobs. 

O*NET OnLine

O*NET has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

Occupational Outlook Handbook 

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the Nation's premier source for career information! The profiles featured cover hundreds of occupations and describe the work tasks, environment, pay, and career path. Each profile also includes employment projections for the 2010-20 decade.

See career resources page

Internships

An internship is a short-term work experience that will allow you to gain relevant knowledge and skills related to a particular career. It's also the best way to explore your career interests and gain experience that will accelerate your career.

The 9 Internship Steps

  1. Meet with a PREPs advisor to get started in your internship search
  2. Research employers and internship opportunities to develop a prospective list
  3. Let PREPs help you with your application materials:
    • Resume
    • Cover Letter
    • References
  4. Begin applying for internships
  5. Schedule a mock interview with PREPs
  6. Follow up with the company or organization after your interview
  7. Keep good records so that you can effectively evaluate your offers and choose the one that's best for you
  8. Enjoy your internship and learn as much as you can
  9. Report back to PREPs after your internship and let us know how it went

When should I look for an internship?

Finding an internship takes time. Allow yourself an entire semester to find an internship that fits your goals and schedule. Your academics are your first priority, so, if you're struggling to maintain a solid GPA, adding an internship on top of everything else is not the best idea. However, if you feel you can handle the added work of interning on top of your other responsibilities, then the second semester of your freshman year is a good time to start looking for an internship for the summer or fall semester.

Where should I look for an internship?

There are many places to look for internships, including your current network! Here are some sites that PREPs recommends:

ScienceLink: Online Job Search for Science Students & Alumni

This service connects School of Science students and alumni with exceptional career and internship opportunities.

School of Science Internship Board

We've collected a list internships available to students pursuing careers in science, health and technology.

The Indiana INTERNnet!

View a wide array of internship opportunities here in Indiana.

How do I determine if an internship is right for me?

Before accepting an internship, there are several factors you need to consider. If you are unsure of any of the following points, make sure to ask your potential supervisor.

What types of projects or assignments would you be involved in, and what would your role would be?
  • Your internship position should include a specific, written list of internship responsibilities, goals and learning objectives. If this is not currently available, ask the supervisor if they are willing to with you to develop a specific list of assignments, goals and objectives for the internship before it begins. PREPs can help you in formulating these objectives.
  • At least 80% of your time should be spent doing assignments such as data gathering/analysis, research, writing, presenting, problem solving, computer use, and interpersonal interaction. Observing and clerical work (filing, making copies, taking coffee orders) is part of most internship positions, however, the ideal internship will require no more than 20% of the time in routine clerical tasks.

What type of supervision do the organization or company's interns receive?  Is there an orientation process?  Do interns meet with supervision routinely?  How do interns get feedback on their work?

  • A good internship should include a supervisor who possesses the skills, education, experience and time to provide a positive learning environment for you.
  • Your internship should include an established agreement between the intern and the supervisor for scheduled meetings to review progress, to obtain feedback, and for the intern to ask questions. If this is not currently part of the internship, ask the supervisor if they are willing to commit to this.

Are interns included in staff meetings and/or training sessions?  Do interns observe site visits or meetings with clients?

  • Another important aspect of a great internship include opportunities for interns to meet/interview multiple people within the organization to gain insight into the role of the department and the broader organization
What is your primary learning objective for this internship? How much work involved in the internship will allow you to meet this objective?
How long will the internship last and how many hours will you be working each week?
  • You want to gain as much experience as possible from your internship, but still be able to balance your other responsibilities. Ideally, summer internships last at least 8 weeks and are often full-time. Internships that take place during the academic semester vary between part-time and full-time. If you are completing an internship for credit, make sure you know how many hours are necessary to receive full credit.

Is this a paid internship? 

  • Not all internships are paid, but in every internship you should receive something in return for your energy, time and skills. The experience should result in hands-on-experience, contacts, and increased marketability. If you are doing work and getting nothing in return, this is not an internship, it's unpaid labor.
  • Governmental and non-profit organizations often aren't able to pay interns and are not subject to the same regulations. Talk to the PREPs office about possible funding sources if you are evaluating an unpaid internship in any sector.

Networking

Don't forget it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Most jobs (roughly 80%) are not published, meaning you won’t find them in the classifieds or on Indeed.com. Furthermore, the jobs that are published receive approximately six times as many applications as there are employees in the company.

Networking 101

What Exactly is Networking?

Networking is simply the sharing of information between you and another person. Asking your neighbor for a restaurant recommendation is an example of networking.

Professional networking involves establishing relationships with people who can help you advance your career. Asking a new contact if they have a job at their place of employment for you, or if they'd be willing to give your resume to HR is NOT networking. Networking is about showing sincere interest in others and being willing to share information with them as well. Networking involves a two-way exchange, not just taking.

How Do I Network?

Network is definitely more of an art than a science, however, the following tips can be used to guide you as your become more savvy in the art of networking.

Have a contact card. A contact card is a personal business card that includes your name, LinkedIn URL, email, cell phone, and areas of expertise. Having your own card to offer will make it easier to ask someone else for his or hers. It's also a great way to promote your "brand."

Develop your already-established network. Don't overlook your existing contacts. Family members, co-workers, neighbors, people in your religious community are already part of your network. When you spend time with these people, start talking about your future plans and goals. Not only is this good practice, but they may have great advice or opportunities for you.

Seek out new contacts. Being on a college campus, you are surrounded by others with whom you can connect: classmates, student organization members, staff, and faculty are all potential contacts. If there is a specific person you want to have in your network, locate them! Simply approach someone confidently, stick out you hand, and introduce yourself. It sounds scary at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Have your elevator pitch ready. An elevator pitch is a speech that can be delivered in the time it takes a ride an elevator. Your speech doesn't have to be memorized, but you should have several refrains that you can easily customize to your situation. For example: "I am about to graduate from IUPUI with a degree in chemistry. This major allowed me to develop strong problem-solving and reasoning skills. I am currently working as a part-time intern at MolecuTech, which I love...."

LinkedIn is a must for networking. For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, we have provided a guide below to help you get started.

Keep an on-going list of the people in your growing network. Reach out to them on a regular basis. Offer to introduce them to each other and ask them to introduce you to some of their contacts as well. A great way to stay on top of this is by scheduling 10 minutes a day into your calendar for networking. Make a phone call or write a letter to the people in your network. Let them know what is happening in your life and ask about them.

Don't view networking as an imposition. Don't apologize for asking for advice. Most people feel honored that you are looking to them for advice or input. And remember, you aren't networking just to get something out of someone else. Approach networking from the perspective of "How can I help this person."

Above all, follow these four rules and you'll do fine:

  • Smile: It's easy to do and it tells people that you are friendly and personable.
  • Ask a question: If you're shy, this is a great way to engage in a conversation.
  • Listen: Good networkers listen; they listen and remember. It's also a great way to engage if you are shy, because you can let the other person do a lot of the talking.
  • Say the person's name: People like to hear their own name, so use it in the conversation. Doing so makes the person feel more comfortable, like you really know her and she knows you.

Networking for Introverts

Introversion is one of the Myers-Briggs type indictors to describe one of the major personality types. Those who are introverted are often exhausted by social interactions and find stimulating environments overwhelming. Introverts tend to be reserved, cautious, reflective, independent, quiet (at first), inward-oriented, need solitude to recharge, prefer deeper discussion, prefer fewer and more intimate friendships, and are comfortable being alone.

Networking involves interacting and connecting with others and cultivating relationships. As an introvert, it can feel exhausting going to events and putting yourself out there for the sake of networking. However, you can think of networking simply as making friends, being kind to them, and keeping in touch. Introverts have many qualities that are beneficial for growing and deepening relationships. 

On-campus activities can help you meet people with similar goals and values. Consider joining a few student groups that interest you, attend special events, volunteer to help or run for a leadership role, get to know faculty and staff on campus. These are just a few ways to connect with others on campus. Remember, your friends and classmates are future colleagues, so it's important to cultivate relationships now. You may want to focus on one-on-one interactions to begin, then you can ask friends to introduce you to other friends. Study groups are also great introverted activities as you have the social interaction, but are still doing an introverted activity. 

There are many more resources on this topic, if you'd like to learn more, download the Introvert's Networking Resource Directory by clicking the button at the top of the page.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn allows you to build your professional identify online and keep in touch with other professionals. You can also use LinkedIn to discover professional opportunities and stay informed with the latest news, inspiration and insights. In a nutshell, LinkedIn is awesome and you should be using it.

Creating your LinkedIn profile isn't difficult, but it does take time. Below are some tips for creating an excellent LinkedIn profile:

Go to LinkedIn.com to get started building your LinkedIn profile. As you begin filling in your profile, be sure you convey your skills, experience, and everything else you have to offer a potential employer-- so be thorough! Prepare to put a lot of time and thought into your profile page.

Have a dynamic title or tagline to set you apart from everyone else. Most people put their job title in the section directly below their name, but you can use this space to emphasize your unique qualities instead by using a tagline. If you need help coming up with a tagline, meet with your career advisor for ideas.

If you don't have a lot of work experience, make sure to highlight your volunteer experience and student involvement. This counts for a lot when you are just getting started on your career path.

Take advantage of the summary section. Include your accomplishments, qualifications, and expertise, and use this section to show potential employers how you are unique.

You can customize your URL. Your first and last name is a great option if it's available. Use your custom LinkedIn URL on your resume and email signature to help lead professionals to your profile.

Connect with others in a personal way. Don't just use the default greeting to connect with others. When you send a LinkedIn invitation, write a personalized greeting that reminds the person how you know them. You are only able to do this on the computer, if you are using the mobile app you don't yet have the option to customize your connection request.

Join groups. Being a member of a group will help you stand out, but even more importantly, groups allow you to participate in discussions, seek advice, and connect to other members. There's a ton of great information being passed around in these groups. Take advantage of all these free resources.

Give and receive recommendations. Recommendations on LinkedIn are the equivalent to job references (and they carry more weight than just getting yours skills endorsed on LinkedIn). While it is easy to hit the "Request Recommendations" button, it is better to reach out personally when asking for a recommendation.

Remember that spelling and grammar is important. Your goal is to impress potential employers. Having an error-free LinkedIn profile is just as important as having an error-free resume and cover letter. Make an appointment to have someone at PREPs look over your profile and help you improve it.

The perfect professional photo: Your photo is the first thing people will see when they visit your LinkedIn page; it needs to exhibit professionalism. PREPs can help you get the perfect shot. Contact our office today to schedule your photo shoot.

Your Personal Brand

Your Brand | Your Involvement | Your Experience. Use these assets to help you stand out to hiring managers and admissions officers. Here are some tips as to how:

Get a Brand

Learn how to develop a brand that portrays you as a high-caliber individual who would be a great asset to any organization. A personal brand is your reputation, qualities, professional persona, passions, and specialties all wrapped into one spectacular package. 

Get Connected

Develop your network to learn about programs, careers, and job opportunities.

Get Experience

Find internships, research opportunities, and student employment to help you develop skills that employers needs.

Get Involved

Involvement in student clubs and campus groups expands the platforms for learning within the School of Science. Network, develop valuable skills, gain recognition, and making a lasting impact on the campus and community.

Give Back

Service learning projects and volunteer work allow you to meet new people, contribute to the campus and community,  develop personal leadership and communication skills, and gain experience for your resume.