Are you trying to pivot into a career area that’s different from what you studied in school? My name is Jessica and today I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned over the past few years as I transitioned from a Kinesiology degree to securing a digital marketing internship at Envol Strategies!
As an 18-year-old funnelling through the pamphlets of post-secondary schools, I was flustered. There were so many different careers and educational paths to consider. I was overwhelmed with what faculty I should pursue for my “dream career”.
Fast forwards to now, as an incoming fourth-year student studying Kinesiology, I loved what I was learning in school. But I still didn’t know if what I was studying was exactly what I wanted to do going forwards in my career. So, I branched out, explored different careers options, and found marketing!
However, coming from a non-business or marketing background, it was hard to find an internship in this field. While sifting through job descriptions and seeing that, in order to qualify, you had to be a “business major,” it burned a hole in my motivation as I applied to countless jobs. But I was determined, and my determination paid off. Envol took a chance on me and gave me the exciting opportunity to learn in a professional internship setting. The chance they gave me allowed me to gain an internship as a Digital Marketing Coordinator!
My point here is: if I can, you can too! Here are my 5 main tips for securing an internship that differs from your educational background.
Whether it’s at school or in the community – get involved in clubs! You can leverage so much of what you have accomplished in clubs so that it’s relevant for your resumes. Plus, it shows you take initiative, which every recruiter likes to see! I was involved in many of my clubs’ communication/marketing positions, which gave me insight into the digital marketing world!
2. Highlight transferrable skills
Even though you may not have worked directly in the specific field for which you are applying, every job has some sort of transferable skill set that can be maximized for your use. For example, soft skills such as communication and teamwork are fundamental elements of most jobs. So, find those overlapping skills that showcase your potential to succeed in any role!
3. Personal projects
Creating and executing your own projects will not only demonstrate that you have the skills required to do the work you want to pursue, but it also shows an incredible amount of initiative. It tells employers that you are so passionate about this work that you spend your free time doing it! Bonus!
4. Go back to school – or if you have time, do a minor
There are so many great programs out there that offer a diploma or license and take less time to complete than a bachelor’s degree, but still teach you some hard skills that qualify you to get your foot in the door to your desired industry! If you can, find a course or program that validates and grows your skillset.
Additionally, if you realize early on that you might like to pursue a different career path, consider doing a minor in school. It allows you to get a glimpse of what you could be learning, without the heavy commitment of fully transferring faculties. Switching your major could be daunting, especially if you are still unsure!
5. Show you’re hungry and willing to learn
Even if you don’t think you’re qualified, send in that application anyways! Showcase in your cover letter that you’re capable and passionate. Remember, recruiters believe in you as a person, not always just who you are on paper.
I hope this gives you a little insight into and encouragement for shifting your career path if you have the desire to do so! And remember, in a report released by Statistics Canada, 23% of college graduates work in a job that’s unrelated to their career. That’s almost 1 in 4 people!
Furthermore, internships are a great way to test out and see if a specific career path is for you. Leverage your student status and gain some professional experience – you got this!
For more great Internship stories check out these insightful blog posts below: