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Field Experiences & Mentorships

Gaining field experience is the most effective way to gain the critical skills and knowledge needed for your desired career path. Actively seek opportunities for cooperative education, internship or job shadowing in a field you are interested in. Listing the skills and experiences gained from internships will help strengthen your resume. You will also gain the opportunity to network with individuals that can raise your chance of employment in the future. Referrals are very effective in large corporations.

According to a 2016 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), internship experiences impact offer rates and average starting salaries. The table below shows job offer rates and average starting salary of those who intern and those who do not.

Table 1: Internship experience impact on starting salary (NACE 2016)

HRCap TIP 03: Internships

  • Interning exposes you to the work environment you are aiming for and helps you assess whether or not this is the right path for you.

  • Look for and take on internships, even if they are non-paid. The opportunity will provide invaluable experiences, especially in the field of your interest.


It is important to seek mentors early rather than later on in your career. A mentor can be anyone who is experienced and knowledgeable in the job industry or career profession you are aiming for. As students, you can start with your school professors, career counselors, or alumni.

Do not seek just one role model or mentor, but find at least three mentors in various settings. Having different types and level of mentors will guide you through your career development, and help you succeed at your job.

HRCap TIP 04: Ideal Mentors

  • Keep in mind that there is no one perfect mentor or role model.

  • Find several mentors and leaders with unique leadership style, business management skills and leading subject expertise that will allow you to be successful in your career.

  • Build your own ideal perfect role model and continuously develop your skills to become that ideal leader.

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