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Asked by Ngai Kay Rachel on October 24, 2016

I'm currently a sophomore at a liberal arts college with an International Studies major. I am currently searching for a summer internship in the corporate field, but it seems like most intern positions prefer business, marketing, or econ majors. Am I looking at the wrong places? What can I do to improve my prospects of being qualified (besides taking an econ class or two at college)?

Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on November 8, 2016

It's great you are searching now for next summer!  Don't let the qualifications of a specific degree stop you from applying for a summer internship.  When you are completing the application focus on the skills that the job description is asking for and look for those skills in your resume whether they are direct or transferable and ensure you highlight those during the application process.  Perhaps there are even classes that fall into a business degree that you can reference on the application.  If there are several business classes, you can include them in a specific section on the resume; "Relevant Classes" .  It's also important to look for a position that you are passionate about and speak to that in the introduction, email or while answering questions on the application.  Good Luck!

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on November 8, 2016

Hi there! You are not wrong that there can be a pretty specific list of things that recruiter look for in internship candidates.  But what you might be missing on this one is that the degree is just one of the pieces of the puzzle.

Do you have leadership experience?  Did you head up an organization at school that did something awesome that you can talk about to demonstrate your ability to build strategy, marketing, budgeting, partnership, team building etc.  Sometimes if you are coming from a less traditionally business oriented field, you have to add a little more about your extra curricular activities, volunteer efforts, organizational involvement, even your hobbies can be relevant in certain circumstances. 

Make sure you are using the language that makes you someone a recruiter can find.  What are they asking for in the job description?  Does that appear in your resume and online persona? 

Best of luck!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on December 29, 2016

Great question! Don't be discourage by having a specific degree. I would suggest to apply to internships that you are interested in and want to gain additional experience in. I would suggest to look at the job description and make sure to tailor your resume and highlight any experience you have that can relate to that role. I would also suggest to reach out to your advisor, professor or college career center and see if they have any connections or know of anyone that is hiring for summer interns. Also, make sure to attend any career fairs on campus this is a great way to get in front of an employer and see what opportunities they have available. Best of luck! 

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on January 4, 2017

Don't be discouraged by the qualifications on a job posting. There are certain positions within the corporate setting that do require a very specific degree and skillset but this is not true of all corporate positions. In fact, some hiring managers prefer a liberal arts degree because a liberal arts education provides a different skillset and mindset than a traditional business degree. I would recommend first narrowing down your field of interest then look for opportunities to expand on a skillset that may be desired for that position. For example, if you are interested in Marketing then I would recommend seeking out a job on campus or a part time position that may incorporate marketing responsibilities. Or, take a position in a student organization focused on Marketing such as "Director of Marketing", etc. You will not only gain Marketing experience but leadership experience as well. I would also recommend tailoring your resume to the specific position you are applying to. Think outside of the box and try to tie your previous work experience or coursework into the job duties for that position.
Good luck with your internship search!

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