Jacqueline Bethoney, Class of 2023, will start her sophomore year at Merrimack in the fall having nailed her second internship. Her first was a Get Hired Up intern with the O’Brien Center for Career Development. Jacqueline shares what she’s learned in the process of interviewing with ALKU and how she is preparing this fall.
Q: Can you talk about the process of finding and applying for your internship?
A: I went to some events on campus and spoke with a representative from ALKU. I had expressed interest in working there, and sometime after that, I got a call to schedule an interview.
Q: What was the interview process like?
A: I had a set of interviews that lasted about two hours with three different people. They asked me questions like why I wanted to work in that position and in sales and why did I think I’d be good in the role. One question that was particularly hard was they asked me what I thought my weakness was. And every person asked me if I had any questions. I had been writing down notes about things they were saying during the interview so I was able to ask them questions. I also had questions written down beforehand that I could ask.
Q: Can you tell me why it was important to you to look for an internship as a freshman?
A: I think that the more opportunities you have, the better off you will be. It’s going to be more impressive to people when you go out and look for a job because I feel that so many people start in their junior year. The more experience you have, the more competitive you’ll be. And even if it’s not exactly what you want to be doing, the experience will help you. I liked the Get Hired Up intern experience because there was a group of us from all different grades. We had team meetings every month and it was great to hear everyone’s advice.
Q: The internship will begin in the fall, but do you have a good sense of what your day-to-day responsibilities will be?
A: Yes, ALKU is a staffing agency and I’ll be working on the recruiting side of that. I’ll find candidates for positions and screen those candidates by identifying the skills they have for the open positions. I will be on the phone mostly. We get an hourly pay and a commission based upon filling the open positions. I’ll have a mentor that will meet with me a couple of times a week that will help me to grow in the position and to make sure that everything is going well.
Q: How was Merrimack able to help prepare you?
A: I met with my career advisor multiple times. She helped me role play so that I would be prepared when I interviewed and would be less nervous. When I was a Get Hired Up intern with the O’Brien Center, I learned a lot about career development and how much the O’Brien Center helps and what resources they have.
Q: Is there any advice you have for Merrimack students with regard to career development, interviewing or applying for positions?
A: I would say definitely take advantage of all that Career Services has to offer. I never thought it would be that helpful, but it was the most help I’ve ever gotten because they go through your resume, they help find internships that might be a good fit for what you’re looking for, and they’ll sit down and have a mock interview with you. I also check out Handshake all the time because there’s always upcoming job opportunities on there and you can apply right on Handshake. And I would say don’t start super late and get as many opportunities as you can because that’s going to get you ahead of everybody else in the long run. Go to every single event and career fair because people are there that want to meet you and want to hire students from Merrimack, so it’s really helpful to go, and make an appointment with your career advisor right away because they have connections too.