Principal Financial Group

February 28, 2007 09:35 ET

Third "Nu @ the U" Column Available from the Principal Financial Group, Identifies Tips for Taking the Initiative on Internships

DES MOINES, IOWA--(Collegiate Presswire - February 28, 2007) - Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG):

Dear Nu,

I know summer internships are a big deal. I'm a freshman, though, so I don't want to start sending out resumes just yet. Should I wait until, say, the spring of my junior year?



Dear Inexperienced,

Waiting until the spring of your junior year to look for an internship is like waiting until the last minute to register for classes--all the good spots are taken. So unless you want the internship-equivalent of Advanced Pig Latin, I'd start looking in the fall of your sophomore year.

First, though, make sure you're taking the right classes. Chat up a few recruiters, and find out what coursework they require. After all, you have to have the right classes to get the right internship. And you have to have the right internship(s) to get the right job.

Did you catch that (s)? A lot of students these days are graduating with multiple internships on their resumes. So one internship plus two summers spent waiting tables might not add up to the kind of job offer you want at graduation.

Here's another option--a co-op. With a co-op, you work at least one summer and one semester, so you'd need to take a semester off. Sure, that can be a bit tricky, but most schools and employers will work with you. You can also usually earn course credit for a co-op, and it's a great way to get in-depth experience.

Internships and co-ops let you try potential employers on for size (and vice versa). Play your cards right (i.e., don't procrastinate!), and you'll graduate not only with a degree but also with the experience you need to land the career you want.

Nu Huynh is a College Recruitment Consultant at the Principal Financial Group. She travels the country looking for the best and brightest recruits. To find the career or internship you're looking for, visit

About Nu at the U

"Nu @ the U" is an advice column written for young professionals navigating the unknown waters of internship and career. The workplace column addresses the most timely and common questions received by the national college recruiting staff of the Principal Financial Group.

The Principal Financial Group, a member of the FORTUNE 500, leading financial services company ( The Principal has more than 14,000 employees world-wide and has been recognized as a best-in-class employer by Fortune, ComputerWorld, Working Mother and LATINAStyle magazines.

Columns are written by Nu Huynh, college recruitment consultant at The Principal® and made available bi-weekly, Jan. - May 2007 via Collegiate Presswire ( The column debuted on Jan. 24, 2007.

"Corporate America can seem like a 'sink or swim' environment, especially for those with little or no professional experience. As a premier employer, the Principal Financial Group is taking a fresh approach to helping provide practical and actionable advice to help young professionals be successful," noted Huynh.

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