College Bound: Internships & Networking

Author: Maria Finan


College Bound is the Notre Dame admissions podcast. David Korzeniowski ‘20 joins us for Episode 9: Internships & Networking to talk about how Notre Dame, his internships, and the Alumni Network helped him find his path post-graduation. Currently a graduate student at Northwestern, David talks about working with NBC at Notre Dame football games, calling baseball games for the Falmouth Falcons, and the way Notre Dame alumni helped him decide to pursue graduate school. 

Read the previous blogs: 

  1. Application Review and Deadlines
  2. Academic Criteria for Admission
  3. Activities and Recommendations on Your Application
  4. Financial Aid and Merit Aid
  5. Notre Dame Traditions
  6. Residential Life and Dorms 
  7. Faith and Service
  8. Research

“What are you going to do with an English degree?” was a question I was often asked during my time at Notre Dame. If you’re familiar with the College of Arts and Letters, I truly think they say it best: Study everything. Do anything. They are right. Within six months of graduation, 98% of our students, regardless of what they studied, have found their next step. For a majority of students, that is a full time job, but others opt to pursue graduate school, full time service, the military, or other employment opportunities. You really can study anything at Notre Dame, and I’m so glad I studied what I was most passionate about! 

There are a lot of opportunities and services at Notre Dame that will help you find your post-graduate path. Whether you’re interested in attending medical school, or entering into full-time employment after your undergraduate years, you will find Notre Dame has so much support to offer. For example, the Center for Health Sciences Advising helped 87% of our pre-med students enter medical school this past year, and our counselors at the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development (CCD) worked with part of the 65% of students who enter into full-time employment after their time at Notre Dame.

Counselors at the CCD can help with career discernment, resume and cover letter review, mock interview practice, and finding amazing internships and jobs. At Notre Dame, 86% of our students complete research projects or an internship (or both). As a student, and young professional, I was so grateful for the CCD’s guide to cover letter and resume writing. They helped me put together my first real resume (and reviewed it multiple times), and the cover letter guidance helped me secure my first choice internship in London, with St. John Bosco College, when I studied abroad!

Thanks to Notre Dame’s access to an online database of jobs and internships like Handshake, I found my first job out of college; however, like many students, I went to graduate school first. My professors were so helpful as I navigated a very different application process. My undergraduate thesis advisor, Romana Huk, was my greatest champion. She not only wrote me a letter of recommendation, and gave me personal statement feedback, but she also connected me with current graduate students for even more insight into applying for graduate programs. Thanks to her support, I had multiple great options for graduate school, including a fully-funded master’s degree in English, which I ultimately chose! 

Forming relationships with professors will be both essential to your success, and easy to do at Notre Dame. Thanks to the support of Romana, and my graduate thesis advisor, Declan Kiberd, I received a research grant from the Nanovic Institute, which enabled me to go to England to do research for my thesis on Harry Potter. Research can help strengthen your resume, whether you’re planning to pursue a job or graduate school, and Notre Dame offers resources for international internship opportunities, too, if that makes more sense for you.

Discerning my career was a process, and one that evolved throughout conversations with my thesis advisors, Career Counselors, and my peers. Many students like to get involved with various clubs, like the Student International Business Council, to help further develop their resume and explore different career fields. 

During the fall of my final year at Notre Dame, I applied to join Teach for America, an organization I’d learned about during my freshman year of college. When I walked into my interview, my interviewer told me that my professor (Romana) had written me the nicest letter of recommendation she’d ever read. I got the job, and walked out of that interview knowing the full support of Notre Dame was behind me!

That will be true for you wherever you go. Our alumni network is incredible and such a great resource for internships, jobs, career advice, and friendships, too! IrishCompass is Notre Dame’s own version of LinkedIn, and a unique way to connect with alumni working in similar fields to you (or fields you want to go into). With nearly 270 Alumni Clubs across the country, and around the world, the Notre Dame family feels like it’s everywhere! 

Some students know exactly where they want to move after graduation. For example, maybe you know you want to live and work in California after graduation, so you take advantage of our  Notre Dame California network and resources. Perhaps you’re a student who's highly focused on a career field, or a big name employer, so you utilize the career and internship fairs to their fullest extent to find your dream job. Or maybe you’re someone who has no idea what you want to do after graduation, so you embark on a Career Trek to learn more about a certain field. 

There are great programs that exist to support all of our students, including those who identify as first generation college or international students. We also have a compiled guide evaluating various employers’ commitments and initiatives related to Diversity and Inclusion.

Whatever your path to postgraduate success is, Notre Dame has the resources to support you. You really can study everything AND do anything! The Notre Dame family and its far reach will be here to support you, whether you’re a freshman scheduling your first career discernment appointment, or a senior revising your resume and cover letters once again as you pursue your passions beyond Notre Dame. The support even continues after graduation for our recent graduates, proving that you really are a forever part of the Notre Dame family.

Maria Finan is an assistant director with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is the regional counselor for parts of California and Colorado. Read Maria's profile.