"The biggest challenge with getting internships is that companies want students who already have experience."
- Charlie Gans, an Economics major at Colorado College.
When Charlie was applying to wealth management summer internships in his freshman year, the management rejected him because he had no relevant experience. Even though he had outstanding test scores, had worked as a landscaper and delivery driver, and was recruited to his college on the strength of his lacrosse skills.
Then his college partnered with Paragon One. It offers students educational work projects- known as externships- which makes it possible for people like Charlie to gain professional experience that they can put on their resumes.
"Having an opportunity where a company like Paragon One doesn't look at your experience, but rather at what you bring to the table as a person, is very helpful for a student like me. It opens a lot of doors," says Charlie, who became an extern at venture capital firm RallyCry, and then went on to intern at Pathstone over the summer. "Doing an externship made me stand out as someone motivated and driven."
Ever wanted to do an internship but knew you wouldn’t be able to travel to an office on the other side of the country? Ever wanted to do an internship but had too much college work or a part time job to do? Ever wanted to do an internship but hear nothing back, despite spending hours polishing your resume and drafting a cover letter?
Enter externships: fully remote, professional experiences that fit around your schedule and schoolwork. Take part in real-world projects at top companies, have face time with hiring managers, and test out whether a career path is right for you. As a student, you are more than a name in a database. The design of these programs completely supports your goals and schedule.
“I had a great opportunity to do a Practicum with Meta (formerly Facebook) that involved market research on social media influencers. The experience helped me build my resume, and though I had a steep learning curve, I eventually learned how to work on analyzing data seamlessly. I’m happy I did the Practicum because it secured my ideas of what I want to do in my future career.”
- Elise Hart, a Digital Media major at Baruch College
“What happens if once you do an internship, you don’t enjoy the work and want to switch to a different career?” asks Garrett Boyce, a Mathematics and Economics major at New York University who completed an externship with HP’s corporate venture group. “You’ve already used up your entire summer, and you’ve probably lost out on other internships you said no to do the one you ended up disliking. A remote externship is 10 hours a week, flexible, and you can do it for eight weeks during the school year alongside your academic work. It’s a good way of helping you decide what companies or industries you want a future internship or full-time role at.”
The chances of getting an internship and a job correlate with the professional experience on your resume, says Matt Wilkerson, founder of Paragon One.
NACE’s Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update indicates that employers consider internship experience - both with the hiring organization and within its industry- the most influential factor when deciding between two otherwise equally qualified job candidates. Student’s GPA is an effective factor but no longer a significant consideration. Career readiness becomes a top differentiator between candidates.
An externship shows hiring managers that you are committed to the industry and have taken the time to test whether it’s for you. It demonstrates that you understand how the industry works and can showcase the skills needed to succeed. It shows you have the time management skills and drive to tackle professional projects alongside college work. Some students have even progressed to internships and job offers through their host companies.
“Externships are a great way to understand if you enjoy a particular industry plus gain new skills. After my externship, I interned at an investment bank and will be joining them full-time in the New York office.”
- Isha Kenkare, a Business major at the University of Michigan
Externships are available across various industries, from tech to conservation, real estate, botanicals market research, and nonprofit consulting. So it makes sense that the students who do them go on to do all sorts of impressive things. They have landed jobs at Google, Microsoft, Meta, Citi, Deloitte, Tesla, Vice, Goldman Sachs, PwC, and many more companies of similar caliber.
Have a look at this case study - Meta (formerly Facebook) Partnered With a Startup to Host Practicums for Diverse Students This Summer. We Were That Startup.
Students agree that their externship helped set them on a successful path, helping them gain vital professional experience that made their resumes stand out. If you’re lacking that experience, an in-office internship can often be a challenging option right now. A remote externship - might be just the ticket.