Student Internship Spotlight Series: Stephen Burke

Internships Help Students Get Ahead!

By Rachael Berthiaume

We all know that resumes are an important part of the puzzle for landing a job after college. What the perfect resume looks like will never be solved by one solid answer. One thing that can be said about resumes, is that it’s not about how much you have on it, but what you have on it.

Stephen Burke, a senior computer science major at Worcester State University, credits his new job at Raytheon to his internship experience that was listed on his resume.

“I was one of two people from Worcester State to be picked for an interview, and I believe it was because of my past internship experience that I was able to even be considered,” Burke said.

Last summer, Burke completed an internship as an IT engineering intern for TJX, the company that owns Marshalls, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx.

“I worked on point of sale, so I helped write the code for the registers for all the stores. Fun fact, if you go to TJ Maxx and Homegoods and you make a purchase at the register and you are asked if you want an email receipt, that’s what I did,” Burke commented.

Choosing an internship is important. Thinking about the qualities you want in a future career is key to finding an internship that you would want listed on your resume.

Burke spoke on why he chose to intern with TJX, “I wanted to work for a company that was growing rather than declining. A lot of the people that worked at TJX have been there for over a decade. They promote within, which is a reason why I chose them.”

Crafting the perfect resume and gaining work experience takes time. Resumes are meant to be updated and tailored to fit the specific job you are applying for. Having internship experience on your resume is one way to stand out for the competition and can help you learn valuable lessons.

“One of the things I learned was you don’t know everything. You have to realize you aren’t going to know everything when you start an internship. No matter what your resume says, even if it checks all the boxes, there is going to be something else you won’t know how to do when you get there,” Burke says.

While on your career development journey, take the time to learn, grow, and figure out what you want for the future. Burke explains how his internship at TJX helped him realize what kind of work environment he wanted.

“I realized I do not want to work in a city, I want to work in a metro area. At TJX I worked with a lot of people with different backgrounds. I didn’t just work with IT people. I want to work with a company that is tech-focused, which is why I accepted the job with Raytheon,” Burke explained.

Taking part in an internship, or two, is a sure way to beef up your resume and skills to be better prepared for the job hunt. Real life experience cannot be taught and it is better to start thinking about your future earlier, rather than later.

For any student of any major Burke advises, “I think it’s really hard to get a job out of college without an internship. Even if it is unpaid, do it. If you have more experience over others, that is something that puts you above the competition.”

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