Loyola University Chicago

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SOC Career and Internship Website

SOC Career and Internship Website
Virginia Barreda, SoC Web Reporter
 

For communication students on the hunt for their next internship or job, look no further than the School of Communication’s new Job Portal and Student Resource Center.

The database, introduced last spring, is exclusively for SOC students searching for work in their desired field, in Chicago and across the nation.

“We found that students were having trouble finding internships and we also wanted to help them when it came time to look for a job,” said Don Heider, dean of the School of Communication. “[We decided] to build a website that’s more functional, easier to use, that we can easily post on and that students can use to search... and eventually alums could as well.”

Internship and Career Coordinator Michael Limon said he hopes students begin their internship search using the site, which is updated daily.

‘“It is a living, breathing site,” Limon said. “And the best way to make use of the site is to use it early and use it often because we update it as much as we can.”

Heider said his goal is to make every SOC student aware that the site exists, and then register to  use it.

Before the site launched, SOC students were using RamblerLink, a job and internship portal available to all Loyola students. Employers approached SOC administrators asking to post open positions only visible to SOC students, according to Heider.

Apart from its exclusivity, the new portal has key features, including a number of search functions to ensure that students find their desired internship or job.

“I think [the search functions] will give students an idea of what’s out there...there are all sorts of criteria by which you can narrow your search — including geography, what kind of job, paid or unpaid, internship or not an internship,” Heider said.

Junior journalism major Beth Gillette used the site when it first debuted to search for a summer internship. Gillette appreciates that the site is tailored to communication students, making it easy to search for relevant jobs and upload her unique resume.

“It was hard getting my resume approved by [RamblerLink] because it wasn’t their template,” said GIllette, 20. “So it just became more work for me. I like using different resumes and cover letters for different jobs I apply for. I can go straight to the SOC website, which takes me to the link of the application or I can upload my resume right [on the site].”

While Heider encourages students to expand their search beyond the site, the portal contains jobs that have most likely been pre-approved by the SOC, making it easier on a student trying to fulfill an internship for class credit.

“Especially when they’re coming up on their junior year, [students] may not have a lot of ideas,” Heider said. “They might not even know what the top PR firms are in Chicago. So this will be able to help them narrow down the search and get a much better idea of that sort of thing.” 

One of the most “influential” aspects of the site, according to Limon, has been the feedback from alumni about their experiences in the workplace and returning to network with students. 

“It almost always gets down to who you know, and we’re hopeful that in this site, we can make it a who-you-know site,” Limon said. “[If] we can be nurturing of one another...be supportive of one another, the better off we’ll be.”

The site includes information about events sponsored by the SOC, as well as an employment resources tab, which features tips for writing a cover letter and resume, an application checklist and advice on how to ace an interview.

Limon said the resources will help quickly impart information without having to give several lectures on cover letters or resumes, making a better use of his and the students’ time. But this won’t stop Limon from giving all students individual attention and support.  

“Even though we’re trying to group [the resource information], that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing that one-on-one time,” he said. “So if you’ve got questions, you’ve got doubts...don’t be afraid to follow-up.”

Limon said the SOC is committed to getting the word out about the new website and his goal is to talk to as many classes as possible about the portal and actively promote it through Twitter and other social media outlets. The outlets will also announce up-to-date internship and job opportunities posted on the site.  

“There are really good jobs out there, and if we work together, we can find them,” Limon said. “We just have to be smart and nimble enough to get out there when they’re available and establish those connections and those networks that are readily available all the time so that we have a steady pipeline of information flowing in.”

Gillette said she hopes that the SOC continues to expand its database to include more jobs of a wide variety.

“There are a lot of online blogs, for example, that are based in Chicago,” she said. “There are more opportunities than just jobs like ABC7. It’d be great to start seeing different types of jobs on the site.”

Limon hopes students find a job or internship they like and hit the ‘apply’ button before opportunities disappear, then provide feedback after using the database. Students are welcome to pitch new employers, internships or job listings for site, he added. 

“It’s a wonderful resource, it’s a wonderful tool,” Limon said. “It’s evolving as we speak. I hope it’s getting better as we speak. Certainly people who have experiences with it, [should] feel free to come to me and share [that] experience because that's how we learn to make the site better and more useful.”