Internships Success Stories

Crafting Success

Advice from a career advisor helped Food Science student Sierra Kuhn land a competitive national internship that clarified her long-term goals

Two students wearing hairnets and grey scrubs work in a commercial cheese-making facility
OSU food science student Sierra Kuhn and a fellow intern at work in the cheesemaking facility at Firefly Farms Creamery.

Some students enter college without a clear idea of what they want to do after they graduate. Not Sierra Kuhn.

The Food Science major chose Oregon State University specifically because she wanted to learn the science of cheesemaking, leaving behind her sunny home state of Arizona to enroll in OSU’s Food Science program. And when she learned of a selective national internship program that would give her the opportunity to get hands-on experience with a sustainable creamery, Sierra was determined to land it.

“I knew it was going to be really competitive, and I wanted to make sure I had my best chance at getting it,” she said.

So she took her resume, a draft of her application, and made an appointment with Katie Harvey, her university career advisor.

Katie is one of a team of career advisors at OSU. She provides career support tailored to students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, advising them on resume development, job searches, interviewing skills and more.

Katie and Sierra sat down together and worked on Sierra’s application for the Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund Farm Apprenticeship program, which places young adults into month-long apprenticeships based on sustainable farms.

“Katie helped me specify and tailor my application to the Anne Saxelby program. I’m bad at talking myself up, but she helped me create some better descriptions for the application.”

Sierra Kuhn, student, OSU College of Agricultural Sciences

After completing the application, gathering multiple letters of recommendation, and crafting a tailored resume and cover letter, Sierra still wasn’t sure she would get in. She was only a freshman, and the program, which offers lodging, work experience and a stipend, draws applicants from all across the United States.

“When I got the news that I got in, I was shocked!” Sierra said. “It was really competitive, but I got in.”

She was placed at Firefly Farms, an artisan creamery in rural Maryland. Firefly sources goat and cow milk from nearby Amish farmers and makes a variety of hard and soft cheese. Sierra’s apprenticeship involved working under a head cheesemaker to learn all aspects of the cheesemaking process.

“The work was very hands-on,” she said. “I was up every morning picking up fresh bags of chevre. I had learned about cheesemaking in my dairy process class, but I didn’t fully comprehend how much physical labor was involved until my apprenticeship.”

A student in a hairnet and scrubs is seen at work in a cheesemaking facility, visible through a window with a sign that says "Caution - Raw Milk Area."
Sierra Kuhn working in the cheesemaking facility at Firefly Farms Creamery.

After her summer in the apprenticeship program, Sierra realized she was most drawn to the behind-the-scenes aspects that go into food science – and that she wanted to explore opportunities in food science beyond just cheesemaking.

“I realized that there are other opportunities besides just being the one making the cheese,” she said. “They have all these recipes that guide the work. It made me realize I want to go deeper.”

One year later, Sierra has been accepted for a second year in the Anne Saxelby program, and this time she’s branching into a new aspect of food science, with an internship at Matunuck Organic Vegetable Farm in Rhode Island.

“I wanted to branch out,” she said. “I will be doing a lot of hands-on farming, and I’ll be learning about soil health and the microbes that help facilitate it.”

Sierra’s advice to other students considering applying for competitive internships?

“Apply no matter what!” she said. “The worst they can do is so no. Go for it, why not?”

Three ways to get help with internship applications

  1. Use Vmock, OSU’s online resume tool. Vmock will scan your resume and make automated suggestions for improvement.
  2. Meet with a career assistant. You can have scheduled or drop-in appointments with one of OSU’s trained peer advisors to work on your resume, cover letter, or other application materials.
  3. Meet with a college-specific Career Advisor. Each undergraduate college at OSU has a career advisor who can offer specialized career advice and insights. Make an appointment via Beaver Hub (find your career advisor under the Success Team tab in Beaver Hub).

Resume and cover letter tips


Job search hack: create a summary resume

Close up of a person's hands resting on a tabletop holding a single-page resume.

Have you ever seen a job you wanted to apply for, but felt paralyzed because customizing your resume to fit the position would take too much time? Here’s a hack to make resume updates easier: create a summary resume.

Summary resume: what it is

A summary resume is a master document that lists all of the potential items you might ever want to include on any version of your resume. This version of your resume is not one you’ll ever actually submit – it’s a back-end version just for you.

Include all your past jobs, all of your volunteer experiences, any leadership position you’ve ever held, any award you’ve ever won. It doesn’t matter how long this document is; this is your personal repository of everything career-related, an archive you can pull from whenever a new job opportunity comes along.

Why create a summary resume?

Rachel Palmer, the career advisor for OSU’s College of Science, likes to describe creating a summary resume as stocking the shelves of your personal grocery store.

“You’re getting everything ready. It’s all written. You’re good to go. You don’t have to remember those details later,” she says. “And then when you find a job, it’s going to tell you in the position description what they’re looking for. That becomes your grocery list. Then you just go back to your store, pick the things that demonstrate those qualities, and you curate it into your submittable resume.”

Rachel Palmer, Assistant Director of Career Development

It’s a trick that takes a little time on the front end, but can save you hours in the future. Once you have your summary, save it and add to it whenever you complete a major project, get a promotion, or start a new role.

What to add to your summary resume

Not sure what to put on your summary resume? Here are some tips to get you started:

Learn from experts about how to create a master resume document to pull from.

Job Search

Focused job search tools for OSU students

A person in a yellow sweater and jeans balances a laptop in their lap and a phone in their hand. A graphic of a browser search bar is superimposed over the top of the image.

Job searching can be time consuming – instead of spending hours scrolling, use these suggested tools to focus your search on specific industries, companies, and areas.

Find jobs just for college students & recent grads

Handshake is a national job board and search tool that focuses just on internships and early-career opportunities. When employers post jobs to Handshake, they are specifically looking for college students, so you won’t be stuck in a sea of jobs with 5 years of experience already required.

  • Handshake is already connected to your Oregon State account, so it loads basic information like your major, and will automatically surface jobs in your industry. Build your profile further by specifying your interests, activities, and work history. 
  • Change your profile settings so that you are visible to employers (student profiles are set to private by default, and it’s up to you to choose who can view yours).
  • Use Handshake’s custom filters to save alerts for jobs in specific locations or types to find relevant job opportunities. 
  • Search keywords, not job titles. If you’re interested in a job that’s somehow related to “marketing” or “sustainability” but aren’t picky about specific job titles, do a keyword search on your filtered jobs. Handshake will search all text in both job titles and descriptions to find matches.
  • Save jobs that catch your eye even if you’re not ready to apply. Handshake will then show you similar jobs the next time you log in. It will also send you reminders about deadlines for jobs you’ve saved.

Learn more about job search tools on Handshake.

Find employers close to you

The Buzzfile’s Employer by Major tool is an indexing service of top employers that sorts by size, location, and industry. If you know you will be spending the summer near your hometown, or you want to move to specific city after graduation, use Buzzfile to search for employers that hire people from your major. Then make a list of your top companies, check their websites for job postings, and begin networking with them

If you’re a student at the Corvallis or Cascades campuses and you want to focus your job search on Oregon, try the site It’s a tool created by the Oregon Employment Department with Oregon-focused job listing and industry data. Mac’s List is specific to the Northwest. Many other states also have state-specific job boards run by their employment department.

Find employers specific to your industry

While job tools like Handshake, Indeed and LinkedIn are great for broad searches, to narrow your search you can try more niche job boards that focus on specific industries.

USAJobs is the site for federal government jobs, so if you’re looking for positions with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, NASA, FBI, Department of Energy, or many others, look here.

State, county and local governments (State of California, for example) typically post jobs on their own websites.

Nonprofit jobs: Idealist and Work for Good are examples of places to look for nonprofit jobs. The Nonprofit Association of Oregon is a regional database for nonprofit work opportunities.

Faculty/academic jobs: Chronicle Vitae, a service of the Chronicle of Higher Education, is a hub for graduate level, faculty, research and other academic positions.

Many professional associations have college chapters at OSU, including the American Institute of Aeronautics, Associated General Contractors of America, The Forest Stewards Guild, the Society of Healthcare Executives, and more. Use the OSU Clubs database and sort by category “academic and professional” to find an association in an industry you’re interested in, then reach out to learn about networking and job possibilities.

Get jobs sent to you

You don’t have time to visit all these job boards every day, so make them work for you. Most job sites allow you to set up job alerts that will do the work for you, emailing you when a new job that fits your criteria pops up.

Campus Jobs Job Search

Five steps to finding a job on campus

A student cashier in a uniform rings up an order at Cascadia Market, OSU's on-campus grocery store, for a fellow student wearing a flannel shirt and backpack. Shelves of grocery items are visible in the background.

Hundreds of students find employment in on-campus jobs like working as cashiers in on-campus markets and restaurants.

An on-campus job is a great way to earn money, and also to gain skills and experience that will boost your resume when you’re ready to launch your career. On-campus jobs are typically flexible and will allow you to schedule your work shifts around your classes.

Student employment ranges from general support jobs that are applicable to students in any major (working in dining centers, office assistants, custodial positions) to jobs that are more specialized and may require certain skill sets (some lab and research positions, web and graphic designers, teaching assistants).

Here’s how to find a campus job:

  1. Check the Oregon State jobs portal. Go to and click on “Student Employment Opportunities.” You can filter by department or search by keyword such as “research” or “marketing.” New jobs are posted frequently and updated throughout the year.
  2. Prepare a resume. Once you have found a job you’re interested in, tailor your resume to highlight any experience or skills that might be relevant to the position. If this is your first job, that’s perfectly fine! Skills and knowledge gained you’ve gained through coursework, group projects, volunteering, sports and clubs are all relevant for student employment, and Oregon State offers numerous ways for students to get help translating those skills onto a resume:
    1. Get resume tips from the OSU Career Guide online.
    2. Get instant feedback from OSU’s online resume help system, Vmock.
    3. Meet one-on-one with a Career Assistant (a peer advisor) or a Career Advisor (a professional staff member who works with students in specific colleges or majors).
    4. Read our tips for adding classroom experience to your resume.
  3. Apply online. The Oregon State jobs portal will prompt you to create an online account to submit your application. You can email the Student Employment team for help if you have any difficulties with the jobs portal.
  4. Practice interviewing. Sitting down in front of a prospective employer and talking about yourself can feel awkward – taking time to practice beforehand helps!
    1. Check out sample interview questions listed on the Career Development Center’s website, and recruit a friend, roommate or family member to do a practice session.
    2. Do an online, interactive practice interview with OSU’s virtual interview prep tool, StandOut.
    3. Schedule an interview prep session with a Career Assistant or Career Advisor.
  5. Follow up. Leaving a positive final impression matters; thank the person who interviews you, both at the end of the interview, and again within 24 hours via email.
Job Shadow Networking Success Stories

Shadowing success

How OSU’s job shadow program helped Kyle Joy chase his childhood dream.

Kyle Joy, wearing an Oregon State T-shirt, poses with scientist Renee Bellinger. Bright blue skies, tropical plants, and a rocky landscape are visible behind them in the distance.

Kyle Joy loves rocks and volcanoes. Loves them so much that he left behind a 12-year career in restaurant management to study geology at Oregon State. His dream job? Getting paid to research his passions full-time as a professional geologist.

So when he saw a possibility to connect with an OSU alumnus who works at the U.S. Geological Survey by signing up for OSU’s Job Shadow program, Kyle was all in.

“I saw USGS and I just zeroed in on that,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to work in the USGS.” The fact that the alumni host for this job shadow worked in Hilo, Hawaii – a place where Kyle had family members living – made it even better.

A few months after learning about the job shadow program, Kyle was in Hawaii meeting with scientists at the USGS’ Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

“The amount of time and compassion all of them took to meet with me, it blows my mind. It’s been the most impactful thing to happen to me at this university.”

Kyle Joy, Geology student, 2023 Job Shadow participant

Now in its sixth year, the Job Shadow program matches OSU students with alumni and other working professionals who have successful careers in fields that the student applicants are curious about. Job shadows typically take place over the summer and provide students with the chance to observe life on the job, ask questions, and learn from the host they’re matched with.

Because Kyle had family in Hawaii, he chose to travel to Hilo and complete his job shadow in person. Most OSU students get matched with a host who works near where they will be spending the summer, or complete long-distance job shadows virtually, via video meetings and informational interviews.

Job shadow experiences can last anywhere from a half day to several days. In Kyle’s case, when his job shadow host, M. Renee Bellinger, learned of his passion for volcanoes, she found a colleague at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Ken Hon, who was also willing to meet with Kyle. Kyle spent several days in Hilo, learning from both Bellinger and Hon. During his time with Hon, the HVO scientist asked Kyle to join in the HVO team’s morning meeting. 

“I was on Zoom with like 150 scientists,” Kyle recalls. “I talked for five minutes about who I was, and then he said ‘Would anyone else be willing to speak with Kyle?’ So many people raised their hands. It was an outpouring of willingness to help an eager student. I had to pinch myself.”

Personal connections like this are the one of the reasons OSU launched the program, according to Wendy Allison, External Relations Manager from OSU’s Career Development Center, who leads the Job Shadow program.

“The Job Shadow program is a fantastic way for students to start building their professional network now,” she said. “Coming out of the program, students are more confident and prepared for their future because of the connections and experiences that they’ve had.”

A photo showing layers of rock strata in the Hawaiian landscape, taken during Kyle Joy’s 2023 job shadow, shadowing geologists working in Hilo, Hawaii.

Back in Corvallis, Kyle is completing his geology degree, figuring out what’s next after OSU, and remains in touch with his job shadow host. 

“This program gave me consistent interaction and communication with an alumni in a way that feels meaningful and sustainable,” he said. “I would definitely recommend it.”

For the 2024 Job Shadow program, more than 100 placement possibilities are open to students, in fields ranging from forensic pathology to designing motion graphics for video games to cybersecurity consulting. Job shadow applications are open through May 3, 2024.

Learn more about the Oregon State Job Shadow program

Job Shadow program details

Possible host sites for 2024 Job Shadow participants

Sample questions to ask during your job shadow

Job Search Networking

A guide to LinkedIn for college students

Five ways to maximize LinkedIn

A person wearing pink pants holds a smartphone on their lap. The screen shows the LinkedIn logo.

Are you making the most of LinkedIn? As of 2023, it’s the 16th-largest website in the world (just two spots below Tiktok!), and it’s also a completely free way to build an online presence that can boost your job or internship search.

Check out these five ways you can maximize LinkedIn to achieve your career goals.

Step one: create a profile.

Think of your profile as a digital version of your resume – it’s a place to show off who you are and the skills you can bring to a new organization. 

Don’t think that because you’re still in college, you don’t have anything to add. Even if you don’t have extensive work experience, or you’re in the middle of changing careers, you can highlight the skills you’ve gained just being a student

Start simple: begin with your name, a profile photo, and what you’re studying at OSU, then build it up from there. Here’s how to get started.

Step two: make connections.

Even if you’re not looking for a job today, you will be someday. Build a network now so that when you need a job, you have a ready-made community you can turn to for introductions or tips on job openings. 

First, search LinkedIn for people you already know: friends, co-workers, past bosses, professors, and advisors. Don’t forget current classmates – they’ll be a valuable network for you in the future.

Then, reach out to people you WANT to know. It’s normal and acceptable to send a connection invite to OSU alumni or people with jobs you find interesting. Try to find a point of common ground, such as a shared interest or a mutual acquaintance, and personalize your request.

  • How to connect with OSU alumni:
    1. Find Oregon State on LinkedIn and click on the alumni tab. Use the search tool to find alumni from your college or major, or who are working at companies you’re interested in, then send them a personalized connection request.
  • Sample connection invitations you can modify:
    1. Hi Xiomara – I am currently a senior studying mechanical engineering at Oregon State and hope to enter the aerospace industry upon graduation. I noticed that you are an OSU graduate with experience in this industry. I would love to connect with you and learn more about your career path. Thanks in advance! – Phuong Quynh
    2. Hi Mikayla – I am currently studying graphic design at Oregon State University and hope to work for a creative agency one day. I loved your recent post about the brand redesign you did for XYZ client – it was fascinating to hear your behind-the-scenes process. I’d love to connect and learn more about how you got started in this field. – Elliott Hashimoto
    3. More sample connection templates

Step three: talk to others.

Once you’ve joined LinkedIn, you can increase your visibility by staying active. Even if you just post an update or comment on others’ posts once a month or so, you’re building a reputation as a positive member of an online community.

  • Join a group. Just like other social platforms, there are subgroups on LinkedIn for all kinds of interests. Enter a keyword related to your major or potential career in the search bar at the top, then click “groups” to filter your search results. Tip: Start by joining the Beaver Careers Group.
  • Share personal updates. You could post about a project you just completed for class or write about a small victory: “Just finished my last final! This term was tough but I loved my horticulture class – I learned so much about plant identification!”
  • Re-post an article you liked and take advantage of LinkedIn’s “repost with your thoughts” button to add a sentence or two about why you found it interesting.
  • Here are 10 more LinkedIn post ideas.

Step four: Advance your skills.

As an OSU student, you have access to a free LinkedIn Learning account. There are more than 18,000 online classes you can take to gain new skills and earn certifications you can post on your profile. Here’s how to log in to OSU’s LinkedIn Learning.

Not sure which courses to take? Do a search for jobs you might be interested in, then look at the qualifications listed. Are you missing anything? LinkedIn Learning might have a class you could take to fill in that gap. It’s a great (and free!) way to build on what you’re learning at OSU. Check out courses related to business, technology, and creative skills.

Step five: Get job alerts.

Your LinkedIn profile is also the key to an enormous job posting network. Instead of browsing through individual listings, use the platform’s automated tools to get notified about jobs that would be a good fit for you. 

  • Make sure that you’ve added skills to your profile (these could be personal skills like communication or teamwork, or skills specific to your field, like Python coding or market research). LinkedIn will use your listed skills to auto-suggest jobs for you every time you log in.
  • To set up job alerts based on your own preferences, click “Jobs” from the LinkedIn top menu bar, then select “preferences” and “job alerts.” 
  • You can also search for a job on LinkedIn, and then filter the results for things like job type (full-time, part-time, internship), job location, and experience level.

Want to learn more about LinkedIn?

Use these videos to make your LinkedIn presence even better.

Rock your LinkedIn profile

Using AI to help create your LinkedIn profile

Success Stories

Negotiation 101: career tips help an OSU grad land his dream job

Adam Sibley kneels on a riverbank holding a large fish.
Adam Sibley, an OSU graduate student in the College of Forestry, found a career combining his love of the outdoors with his skills in data.

Adam Sibley’s done a lot of things in his career: earned a PhD. Maintained climate stations in remote tropical rainforests. Co-authored peer-reviewed publications.

One thing he’d never done until this year? Negotiated a salary offer.

“Job interviewing and negotiating in particular make me very nervous,” Adam said.

That’s where meeting with his OSU career advisor, Britt Hoskins, came in. She provided tips that eased his doubts and helped him negotiate a competitive job offer with a company doing cutting-edge work in his field.

Step 1: Landing a job offer

Adam earned his PhD in plant ecophysiology from OSU in 2021 and then stayed on as a post-doc research associate with the College of Forestry’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. Through his time at OSU and in previous jobs, he built up a unique skillset that focuses on the technical side of plant science.

“I found out about myself that what I am best at is working with electronics and hardware. Also software, writing code, working with equations. There is a place for people with those skillsets in plant sciences,” he said. “A lot of people in this field don’t really do the scripting stuff that I do.”

His expertise left him well-positioned when a friend of a friend reached out to him on LinkedIn and asked if he might be interested in a job with Chloris Geospatial, a Boston-based start-up that aims to impact the climate crisis by providing companies with cutting-edge climate data analysis.

He was thrilled when he was offered the job – it gave him a chance to continue his work in satellite image analysis and data science, plus it would allow him to move back to the east coast, where he is originally from. But he felt very unsure of how to ask for what he wanted after receiving the job offer.

Step 2: Asking for help

Luckily, he already knew Britt Hoskins, career advisor for the College of Forestry; she’d helped him adapt his academic CV to a résumé for a job in the private sector. He made an appointment with her again to talk through his negotiation questions. 

“Negotiating for a salary feels awkward. It almost made me feel ungrateful,” Adam said. “And I was thinking, ‘How am I going to negotiate with a CEO? I’ve never even talked to one before!’ But she prepared me for the negotiating process and it all worked out exactly how she said it would.”

Two takeaways that were key for Adam:

It’s okay to ask for what you want.

In his case, that was a delayed start date. His original offer included a start date of July 1, but he wanted to remain at OSU until August to wrap up his current work. Britt assured him that this was not an unreasonable request.

“When I told her what I had in mind, she said it was completely okay – they might say no, but I should still ask. She gave me the moral support that was very needed,” he said. 

Salary negotiation is normal, expected and typically follows a standard process.

Adam was worried that salary negotiation might involve a tense back-and-forth conversation in which he’d have to make a case for himself on the spot. Britt walked him through what a typical salary negotiation process looks like, and provided advice on a reasonable counter offer for his career field and level of experience. 

Her salary negotiation tips:

  1. Let the company provide you with a salary number first.
  2. When you receive it, tell them thank you and wait a day before responding.
  3. Follow up with your counter-offer and a short justification.
  4. Let them respond to your counter-offer.

“Without her advice, I would not have known that was the protocol,” Adam said. “She gave me really good advice and helped me find a reasonable target.”

Step 3: Nailing the negotiation

The result? He got the job, with a salary higher than the company’s initial offer, and the freedom to wrap up his work at OSU before starting his new job.

His tips to other students in the job market? Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, and seek out advice when you need it.

“Just talking things through with people is one of the most important things you can do. There are a lot of things about jobs that aren’t rocket science and that you already know – it’s the doubt that is the problem,” he said. “It helps to have someone talk to who will tell you, ‘Yes, you can do that!’”

Want to learn more about salary negotiation?

Career Fair Ecampus

What to expect at a virtual career fair

laptop on a desk showing a screen with two people having a video conversation

If you think attending a career fair means putting on a suit and handing out paper resumes in a crowded room, think again.

Yes, in-person career fairs are still an option, but in recent years virtual career fairs have become a valuable way for employers to connect with capable candidates they might not encounter otherwise.

If you’re thinking about attending a virtual career fair, here’s what you need to know:

1. Register on Handshake, Oregon State’s virtual career fair platform.

Handshake is a tool widely used by universities as a connection point between college students and the employers who want to hire them. All OSU students already have free access to Handshake’s job boards and career tools. Before you attend a virtual career fair, log in to Handshake and update your profile.

Treat your Handshake profile like LinkedIn or a virtual resume – it’s your way to show off your skills to employers. Make sure that your major, GPA, work authorization status and other information is correct. When you’re done, update your profile privacy settings – OSU student profiles are private by default, but before attending a career fair you should update it so that it is visible to employers.

2. Select your virtual career fair.

In Handshake, navigate to “Events” and then use the filters at the top of the page to select “Category – Career Fair” and “Medium – Virtual.” Click on the fairs you’re interested in, and select “register.”

Screenshot showing a Handshake landing page listing multiple virtual career fairs.

3. Decide which employer sessions to attend.

Employers from all over the globe attend Oregon State virtual fairs, creating either one-on-one or group info sessions for students. Browse through the listings, and register in advance for sessions with companies you are interested in. On the day of the fair, you will only be able to attend the sessions you’ve registered for!

4. Double check your technology.

You’ll need a good internet connection, and a device with speakers, a microphone, and a supported browser (note: Internet Explorer is not supported). See Handshake’s guide to technology for virtual events.

5. Prep for your sessions.

During sessions, employers will spend some time sharing info about their organization, and you’ll also have the chance to talk about yourself via audio, video, or text chat. Plan in advance so you don’t have to think of things to say off the top of your head!

Research employers. Look at their Handshake profile and their company website, and think of a few questions you can ask about what they do.

• Prep an elevator pitch. This is your chance to shine! It’s easy to get tongue-tied when someone says “tell me about yourself,” so use our elevator pitch tips to pre-plan a few sentences talking about who you are and what you’re interested in.

Dress for confidence and comfort. Even at a virtual career fair, you should treat the experience like a professional networking event. Make sure your entire outfit is presentable and you’re wearing clothes that make you feel confident. See our tips for how to dress.

6. Follow up afterward.

Even if you’re not ready to accept a full-time job right now, the connections you make at a virtual career fair can help you build your professional network. After the fair, stay in touch!

When a session ends, a pop up will automatically appear allowing you to message the hosts.

Screenshot showing a Handshake screen titled "continue the conversation" with links to message session hosts.

If you’re not ready to send a message immediately, write down their name. Later on, you can find them on Handshake or LinkedIn and connect with them.

Need help? We’re here.

Have questions about how to register or participate in a virtual career fair? Contact us and ask!

If you need help at any point during a virtual career fair, real humans from the OSU Career Development Center are available for the duration of the fair via the Virtual Help Room. Click on the “Join Virtual Room Help” button in the top right corner of your screen and we’ll be happy to help.

Screenshot showing a Handshake screen with an orange arrow pointing at a button that says "Join Virtual Room Help."

Learn more about virtual career fairs

Handshake’s guide to attending a virtual fair

10 Tips for Attending a Virtual Career Fair


Last minute internships: five tips for finding them

So, you were busy all year and you never found time to search for a summer internship. Now it’s June and you’re not sure what to do!

Here are five tips from career advisors on finding an internship, even when it’s late in the hiring season.

A student sits cross-legged with a laptop open on their lap. To the side is a graphic of an online search bar with the words "internships near me"

1. Reach out directly.

Is there a company you’re interested in working for? Check out their website or LinkedIn page. Even if you don’t see an internship posted, contact someone at the company to check! Employers don’t always publicize their internships as heavily as they do full-time jobs. The best way to find out if someone’s hiring is just to ask.

Tip: If you’re not sure what companies to contact, use the Buzzfile Employers by Major tool. Buzzfile is not a job board, but a great site for finding all the employers affiliated with a certain industry in a specific state or city – try searching for employers with keywords related to your major, who are located near your hometown or the city where you plan to spend your summer.

2. Use your network.

Many jobs come not from spotting a posting online, but from a personal connection. You may not think you have a professional network yet, but you have connections through OSU whether you realize it or not! A few networking ideas:

  1. Ask career advisors, professors, friends, parents, co-workers and TAs who is hiring and who they can introduce you to. (Don’t know who your career advisor is? Check the Career Development Center staff list or email us to connect.)
  2. Connect with OSU alumni! Use OSU Connections (OSU’s online professional networking site) or LinkedIn (search for Oregon State University and then click the “alumni” tab) to find alumni who are working at companies you’re interested in.
  3. Even if someone isn’t hiring currently, you always can ask them for an informational interview. An informational interview is a brief call or meeting where you can get to know someone at a company you’re interested in, and learn more about what that industry is like. An informational interview creates a relationship and can lead to more opportunities. Check out the Career Development Center website for more about informational interviews and how to request one.

3. Customize your materials to each position.

Many companies are now using automated screening tools to filter applications. If your resume and cover letter don’t contain the key words the AI is looking for, your materials might not ever get in front of human eyes.

Look carefully at the job description and see what skills they are looking for, then find commonalities in your own experiences that you can list to show how you meet the specific requirements for that job.

Tip: The experiences you list to meet job requirements or keywords don’t have to only come from paid work! Classroom experience and non-paid work like volunteering, clubs, sports, Greek life and more can all help you gain transferable skills that are very relevant, and they’re valid to include when you’re applying! 

4. Use a college-focused job board

Handshake is a job and internship search tool that’s specifically for college students and recent grads. While some jobs posted on Indeed or other job boards might be looking for people with years of experience, employers who post on Handshake are looking for college students. All OSU students have free access to Handshake via their ONID account – log in at

A few tips on Handshake: this is a national job board with thousands of listings, so use filters to see exactly the kinds of jobs you want! You can filter by location, remote work availability, keywords and more. If you see a job you like, even if you don’t apply for it, favorite it – when you favorite certain positions, Handshake will show you more jobs like that next time you log in.

5. Use OSU’s free career services

Stop by the Career Development Center for a drop-in appointment or schedule an appointment in advance to work with an advisor who can help you tailor your materials and give you ideas about the best places to search for jobs. 

You can also access free online tools through the Career Development Center’s website:

  • a free online resume checker: Vmock
  • An online interview prep tool: StandOut
  • A career assessment tool that will help you figure out what would be a good fit for you: Focus2

More internship search tips

  • Want to work on campus? Many OSU departments hire students for the summer or all year long. Even if the department you work for isn’t directly related to your major, it can still provide a great experience for your resume.

Career skills employers really want

(and how to show you have them)

Have you ever heard the term “soft skills” and wondered what that meant? How about “career-readiness competencies”? No matter what you call them, it’s a fact: employers want to hire people who not only have the education to do a specific job, but also have the personal skills like teamwork and communication that make them good all-around employees.

You might also hear them called “transferable skills” – that’s because you can gain these skills in many areas of your life, and then transfer them to any career path. The good news? Your experiences in college are helping you acquire those skills along the way. Here are eight career-readiness skills that employers are looking for, and tips from us on how to show you have them!

(Note: these career readiness competencies were developed by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, an organization for university career services providers and recruiting professionals)

Career & Self-Development

What it is: Proactively developing oneself through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships.

  • Example behaviors: You show an awareness of your own strengths and areas for growth; you seek out opportunities to learn, develop plans for your future career, and maintain relationships with people who can help you professionally.
  • Ways to show this skill: Attending career development workshops and events; completing professional education or training related to your field of study.
  • On your résumé: List industry-affiliated clubs or student chapters of professional organizations; add LinkedIn Learning courses you’ve taken. (Tip: LinkedIn Learning courses are free for OSU students!)


What is is: Clearly and effectively exchanging information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with others both inside and outside of an organization.

  • Example behaviors: You can communicate clearly and in multiple ways: verbally; via non-verbal cues and body language; and through writing and editing. You can also employ active listening skills, and you can communicate with respect to a diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities, and cultural differences.
  • Ways to show this skill: Completed papers, presentations, and group projects; customer service roles; and by asking clarifying questions.
  • On your résumé: Customer service roles are great examples of communication skills. If you’ve worked in food service, hospitality, retail, or any public-facing role, you’ve built communication skills. You can also add educational experiences, such as examples of major projects you’ve completed that involved gathering input from others, or that required a public presentation.

Critical Thinking

What it is: Identifying and responding to needs, based on an understanding of situational content and logical analysis of relevant information.

  • Example behaviors: You can make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgement; you gather information from a diverse set of sources to fully understand a problem; you can anticipate needs and prioritize action steps.
  • Ways to show this skill: Share examples of anything that requires a plan with specific steps to solve a problem, such as research papers, projects, and service learning.
  • On your résumé: Any job that requires you to multi-task well in a fast-paced environment shows your critical thinking skills; any classroom project, volunteer project or workplace task in which you were given a problem and asked to come up with a plan to solve it.

Equity & Inclusion

What it is: Demonstrating the awareness, attitude, knowledge and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different cultures. Engaging in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

  • Example behaviors: You can solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions; you advocate for and actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Ways to show this skill: Seek out global and cultural exchange experiences that will broaden your perspective; engage in advocacy for inclusion and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • On your résumé: List any study abroad or volunteer experiences that gave you the opportunity to experience diverse cultural perspectives; include any participation in anti-racist or equity-minded organizations or clubs.


What it is: Recognizing and capitalizing on personal and team strengths to achieve common goals.

  • Example behaviors: You can inspire, persuade and motivate yourself and others under a shared vision; you use innovative methods to beyond traditional methods, and you serve as a role model by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Ways to show this skill: Sign up for lead roles in organizations or class projects; take initiative on additional responsibilities in jobs, volunteer work or internships.
  • On your résumé: List any role in which you served as a team lead (even if it was a sports team, club or class project – it’s the same skill set whether you were paid for it or not). Be ready to share some examples of ways you planned, initiated or managed projects.


What it is: Knowing work environments differ greatly, understanding and demonstrating effective work habits, and acting in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

  • Example behaviors: You act equitably, with integrity and accountability to yourself, others, and the organization; you demonstrate dependability and consistently meet or exceed expectations. You work with a high level of detail and complete work with few (if any) errors.
  • Ways to show this skill: Share your successes in completing projects on time; talk about how you prioritize when juggling competing priorities and tasks.
  • On your résumé: List any jobs that required you to pay attention to small details and prioritize tasks; include awards like “employee of the month” regardless of whether they were received in an office setting, a volunteer job, or a fast food restaurant – it’s all evidence of your professionalism.


What it is: Building and maintaining collaborative relationships to work toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

  • Example behaviors: You listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask questions without interrupting; you can effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience. You know how to compromise and collaborate.
  • Ways to show this skill: Projects where responsibility is shared, team-oriented jobs, and student organizations.
  • On your résumé: Specifically mention times where your job required you to work with others to accomplish your tasks; list group projects in a classroom setting, team sports or clubs.


What it is: Understanding and leveraging technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

  • Example behaviors: You can navigate change and can quickly adapt to new  or unfamiliar technologies; you can identify appropriate technology for tasks and use technology to achieve strategic goals.
  • Ways to show this skill: Share examples of how you’ve learned new technologies, or used technology to improve efficiency in school or work projects.
  • On your résumé: include a list of software or technology that you’re proficient in; be prepared to talk about how you learned/used those skills.

More tips for gaining (and showing off) your transferable skills

“Should I list my boring job on my resume?” – this blog post from Handshake does a deep dive on ways to show off transferable skills no matter what kind of work experience you’ve had.

“How to show off your soft skills to employers – with samples” – more tips from Handshake on adding transferable skills to your resume.

How to use power statements on your resume – Tips and examples from OSU’s career advisors on a how to write a power statement – a two-line, action-oriented statement you can add to your resume to show off your skills from previous experiences.