Gaining On-the-job Experience Before Graduation


Did you know that you can list internships and work study programs on your resume as actual work experience?

Internships can give you the best of both worlds – not only will you get college credit toward your degree, you might even be pulling in a paycheck depending on the company you’re interning with! This is the perfect opportunity to test out the industry in a low-risk way to see if you like it. You can complete internships with several different companies, or in several different roles to get a wide view of company cultures and opportunities in the field.

Internships sometimes even turn into permanent jobs after graduation, so it’s important to bring your A-game to work every day (none of that “college kid just rolled out of bed” nonsense!). Even if your internship doesn’t develop into a permanent position, you might still be able to ask your employer for a reference. Good references this early in your career are more valuable than gold!

The work study program at your college or university could present you with a unique opportunity that you might not have had otherwise… and you’ll earn money to help pay education expenses. You might have to think outside the box, but there may be opportunities for you to do basic arboricultural work on your college’s campus!

“Getting into arboriculture was an unintentional by-product of having a campus job as a rock climbing instructor and the campus botanic garden needing another human working with the campus arborist,” says Alex Julius, associate director of educational goods & services for the International Society of Arboriculture, an SCD sponsor. “I was approved, as a work-study student, to assist the campus arborist. To this day, I’m not certain how these two separate entities came to talk together and pick me as the student for the job, but I am forever grateful because it completely changed my career path.”

Don’t forget, you can scope out internship opportunities at the SCD Job and Internship Fair. You might also check with local tree care companies, parks and recreation departments and even state or national forests.