By Sarah Wang | Reporter
The Baylor University Career Center aims to helps students and prepare them for a successful career. Amy Rylander is the assistant director of engagement with the Career Center; she was the head of recruiting of a large company for 15 years before coming to Baylor. Rylander said she tries to help students “through the lens of somebody who hired a lot of people.”
The Career Center provides support and direction for all Baylor students as they follow their calling into a successful career after graduation. The team strives to offer the highest quality career coaching and resources available while continually researching best practices nationwide to position students for success.
At the Career Center, sophomores and juniors are encouraged to pursue internships. Rylander said a lot of times, students don’t start thinking about internships until they are graduating.
“The reason that internships are important is that it gives the students an opportunity to explore job opportunities for three months before they decide if that’s something that they want to do full time or not,” Rylander said. “It also allows them to explore industries that they may not be familiar with or companies that they are, or they think, they are interested in.”
Rylander said an internship is basically a “three-month interview.” Oftentimes, a company will offer full-time employment at the end of an internship. Approximately 50% to 60% of Baylor students who complete an internship end up staying with those companies, and about 80% said the companies offered a full-time position.
According to Rylander, the most challenging part of finding an internship is figuring out what to pursue, because students don’t want to pick the wrong thing.
“What I have to remind students is, you can’t pick the wrong thing,” Rylander said. “It’s narrowing down what they might want to do. We encourage students to explore a lot of different options and just go with something.”
Unfortunately, Rylander said international students have some limits if they want to apply for internships. She said the key is to do research; this fact holds true for both domestic and international students, who should prepare for career fairs by pulling up a list of companies who will sponsor them and trying to stick with them.
“What I tell international students to do is to do your homework and find a company that operates internationally,” Rylander said. “Choose a company that had offices all over and think about the other ways that you can get into a company. Always look for the companies that will sponsor and then figure out.”
Zhumadian, China, junior Kexin Zhang is an international student majoring in supply chain management. She stayed in China for a whole year since COVID-19 hit, and she used this opportunity to find an internship while she stayed in her home country.
“I had an internship at Guotai Junan Securities,” Zhang said. “The job I had was kind of basic, but I’ve learned a lot of things beyond that. The most important thing I’ve learned is the way of dealing with others. I’ve learned how to interact with others as well as what are the things that must be done and what are the no-nos in the workplace.”
Sugar Land senior Xiaoyi Zhang is majoring in apparel merchandising and has done two internships while in college. She is now ready to accept an offer for a job in New York after graduation.
“I would say the most important benefit of internships is that it enriches your experience,” Zhang said. “Not only do you have more experience than others, but you also can learn many different things through your internship. It is both an experience of learning new things and using the things you’ve learned.”
Rylander’s advice is to try and get into a company by any means before starting to dream of something bigger or simply giving up.
“Don’t try to change the world yet,” Rylander said. “Get in a company and then try to change the world.”