Students talk to potential employers at the 2023 Career Expo on Sept. 21 at Stabler Arena. The Career Expo is one of the ways Lehigh helps their students during the job search process. (Benson Xue/ B&W Staff).

A guide on how to maximize internship season


Maya Miserlian, ‘25, an economics and marketing student, said most students in the business school should get an internship, especially the summer after their junior year. She feels they must do this to remain competitive applicants in the job market.

“I started applying in June of this year and I started at that time because I was looking into a lot of banking and consulting internships which have a timeframe that’s extremely early,” Miserlian said. 

As a career intern at the Career Center, Miserlian facilitates the drop-in Career Lab hours for students to receive support in job preparation, help on resumes, interviewing and networking. 

From her time working in the center, she said she has built relationships with different types of career coaches. She said the coaches have been helpful, guiding her to company applications she may not have thought of herself, as well as giving her resume and job search advice. 

Christine Russell, the director of career education at Lehigh, said the networking and job posting site Handshake, which has over 85,000 job opportunities posted each year, can be useful for students from all of Lehigh’s colleges and majors. 

“This is for disciplines in all different geographic locations, and students are able to filter by class year, by job roles,” Russell said. “What we found is that a lot of employers are looking across disciplines for the positions. They’re looking for problem-solving skills and work ethic, which can actually be found in all majors.”

Russell said there are two main parts of the internship application process: physically applying and networking with alumni.

The first step in the process of finding an internship should involve identifying one’s personal brand, she said, such as dedicating time to work on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

She said this includes highlighting skills students have developed at Lehigh and showcasing in-class assignments, since many times experience comes from the classroom. From there, students can begin applying through Handshake, and if they don’t find enough opportunities, they can use LinkedIn.

Russell said students should also network with alumni after applying. She said this can be helpful to learn more about job positions, what the company’s culture is like and finding out what company may be right for them.

Russell recommends practicing for interviews by creating “STAR” stories, which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. This story format is commonly used by students in master’s of business administration programs to create meaningful responses to interview questions.

“If you think you’re going to end up having the perfect answer right at that moment when you’re stressed and anxious, chances are it’s not going to happen,” Russell said. 

Luke Strianese, ‘25, a mechanical engineering major, is returning to his internship from the summer of 2023 at AKF Engineers LLP in New York City. 

Strianese said when he applied last year, it took around a month from the time he applied to when he heard back from the company. He said he only applied to two positions at different companies. 

“Have a lot of people look over your resume and give your resume feedback. Just apply to as many places as possible and create opportunities to reach out to people when you can and have some person-to-person contact,” Strianese said. “That’s the most beneficial thing.”

During his internship, Strianese said he made a conscious effort to go around the office to meet people outside his team to network, including individuals he didn’t work with daily.

He said the internship would not have been possible without the knowledge he gained in his classes at Lehigh.

“I learned a lot of the industry skills, (and) they gave me a lot of freedom with real projects toward the end of the summer,” Strianese said. “I’m looking forward to this summer going in with the knowledge of those things so I don’t have to spend all that time looking for work.”

Miserlian said she became a Finance Transformation Consulting Intern for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, at its Boston location by direct messaging employees on LinkedIn.

Miserlian said this technique is how she received every interview opportunity.

In terms of applying and balancing other responsibilities, Miserlian said September was full of class work, interviews, work, club meetings and exams. She said because interviews are typically during working hours, it was difficult to schedule all of her responsibilities.

“I ended up doing five interviews (in a) week that I also had two exams, so that was super stressful, but it definitely all pays off,” Miserlian said.

To combat the challenges of this balancing act, Russell said students should schedule out the time out to get the work done for professional opportunities. She said if students don’t schedule the time, a couple of days will turn into months and even years before they explore professional opportunities. 

Russell said she suggests students attend the Career Lab, open Monday through Friday, where students can drop in between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Maginnes Hall in Suite 500. 

“We’re there to walk you through how to showcase your experiences,” Russell said. “We want to make sure that by coming into Career Lab and working with others and giving you the opportunity to talk through your experiences, you’re really elevating them in the way that they should be showcased in your personal brand.”

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