Darcy: How I Networked to Find My Out-of-State Internship

How I Networked to Find My Out-of-State Internship

By Darcy V.

My internship search process was a little different than my classmates’ because I was searching for an internship in San Diego. As a result, I couldn’t take advantage of the department’s internship postings as much as I could have if I were looking in Washington. When I first began my internship search, I was determined to find and land an internship on my own; I primarily used Indeed and LinkedIn to search for and apply to internships. I soon realized that neglecting to utilize my connections was naïve and inefficient. Once I decided the smartest approach to a job search was to utilize my connections, I began reaching out to people I knew within the environmental health and emergency management fields. The more people I talked to about my interest and goals, the more connections I began to make. Eventually, I connected with the Assistant Director of the county Office of Emergency Services (OES) through a contact I made through a previous job. After speaking to the Assistant Director of the county OES, they connected me with one of the Senior Emergency Services Coordinators who also handles students and interns. From here, the process was quite straight forward; I interviewed with the Assistant Director and the Internship Coordinator and then began the hiring process.

County of San Diego Emergency Operations Center (EOC) The EOC is activated during disasters and is the hub for coordination and communication with the field. When the EOC is not activated, it is used for meetings, trainings, and employee work spaces.

My biggest piece of advice for future students is to take advantage of every networking opportunity and utilize your connections. It can be difficult to stand out amongst other internship applicants, and a personal introduction from a connection can never hurt. In my case, the internship was not posted online, so the only way to know about it is to reach out to the office directly. I never would have known about the internship opportunities at OES without the guidance of the individuals I met through networking. I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and utilized networking to find my internship!

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