By Linda Wilkins
Ryan Kahn, “Career Coach” and host of MTV’s “Hired!” will be at Common Grounds from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 18 as part of Dream Careers’ Campus Tour.
“We will be there to help meet with students about internships, talk to students about interning in various places and help them decide what to do for summer internships,” Kahn said.
Ameen Shallal, director of the Washington D.C. Dream Careers program, said Dream Careers is a destination internship program that helps students plan their career goals. The internships are normally with companies in destinations such as Washington, D.C., or Manhattan, Shallal said.
Kahn and Shallal are traveling to 34 campuses in 47 days.
Shallal said to acquire an internship through Dream Careers, students can fill out the online application, found at www.summerinternships.com, and then go through an admissions evaluation process. The applicants participate in an informal interview with the company, and then admissions will decide if the student is accepted into the program or not.
Accepted students are assigned to a career coordinator, like Kahn, who helps them with their resume, their work, discovering what they’re passionate about and what they want to do in their chosen career field, Shallal said. The coordinator makes internship recommendations for the student, and the student has the opportunity to look through the Dream Careers’ internship database, he said. The coordinator would also schedule interviews for the internships.
“The internship placement is guaranteed,” Shallal said. He said while an internship is guaranteed, specific placement with a certain company is not necessarily guaranteed.
Shallal emphasized the importance of internship experiences. He said internships give the student the opportunity to live in a new city as a young professional. Depending on the university, the student can also get academic credit for their internship.
In addition to the internship, students will have housing, meals and transportation provided, Shallal said.
At the Baylor event, Shallal said students can apply directly to the program the same day without filling out an online application. The coordinators, Shallal and Kahn, will be able to talk to the students one-on-one. Internships are important to establishing a career because they provide a quick view into a company, Kahn said.
“This way, you aren’t making a commitment for several years with a company you may not like,” Kahn said.
Kahn also said getting internships for the summer is a key for success in a future career, and the process for getting these internships starts now.
“Now is the time to start for those who have big dreams; the best [internships] go first,” he said. “Now is the time to be ahead of the game.”
Kahn gave several of his top tips for acquiring internships.
A main step toward getting an internship is checking with the career center on campus and expressing interest in an internship, Kahn said.
“If you know what you want to do and you know a specific company you want to work with, go directly to the company and look into it,” he said.
Kahn also suggested using websites that help find internships, such as Indeed.com, as a good way to find local jobs and other internships.
Career fairs on campus are also a way to make connections, Kahn said.
“Network is net worth,” Kahn said, in reference to meeting new people. He said it is essential to meet as many people as possible in one’s industry of interest.
Kahn is from New Port Beach in southern California and has lived in L.A. for the last 12 years, working with students all around the world in places such as Australia.
“I originally came into the business by having a passion for music,” Kahn said. “I didn’t know what to do to get into the [music] business.”
Kahn said he started taking classes at the University of California at Los Angeles to learn what to do, and took one taught by Randy Jackson — current judge on “American Idol.”
Kahn said Jackson inspired him because he was constantly filming television shows and interviewing. Kahn decided internships might be the way to get his foot in the door for a similar career path.
“The day I graduated, I was building my relationships,” Kahn said. He worked with music for several years, and then he began to reach out to students to help them set up internships and jobs.
“I really found a passion to help [them] get their first step in their careers,” Kahn said. “I got a joy from doing that.”
Kahn now works as a career coach with Dream Careers and recently released his first book titled “Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad.”
“I was in a book-store looking at the career coaching books available and I was discouraged,” he said. “I knew I wouldn’t want to read a 230-page book to know how to get going.”
Kahn said the book is an easy read and provides tips about what students can do in their career to get where they want to go.