Student FAQ

General

Scroll down to find the corresponding answer to each of the following questions:

What types of career resources are available?
Can I meet with Career Development to discuss my résumé or job search?
What is the difference between an artist résumé and one for a job?
Do I need a résumé if I’m a painting/drawing major?
How do I begin my job search?

Internships

Scroll down to find the corresponding answer to each of the following questions:

Am I required to do an internship in order to graduate?
Who do I contact for an internship?
How do I find an internship?
How do I establish an internship for credit?
Can I receive retroactive credit?
Is my internship paid?
How can I make the most of my internship?

What types of career resources are available?

CCA Career Development offers a number of resources and services that gives students a competitive edge:

  • One-on-one career coaching
  • Career events such as workshops, clinics, fairs, on campus interviews
  • Online job postings for students and alumni via our job board at CCA Works
  • Résumé / cover letter advice via trained peer coaches
  • Interview preparation assistance (mock interview available by appointment)
  • Panel discussions covering multiple career success topics
  • Professional practice courses for junior and seniors

Can I meet with a Career Development representative to discuss my résumé or job search?

If you are a currently enrolled student or recent alumni (no more than five years since graduation), set up an appointment to meet with a peer coach or find out about our upcoming resume workshop during Career Bootcamp on May 20, 2015.

What is the difference between an artist résumé and a job résumé?

An artist biography/résumé demonstrates one’s accomplishments, endeavors and awards and is used when submitting to galleries, art fairs, residencies, graduate programs, and publishers. A job résumé details one’s work history, skills, and accomplishments and is used for submitting to potential employers that are seeking to hire.

If you need assistance, set up an appointment with a peer coach in Career Development, or download examples from the Career Development toolkit.

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Do I need a résumé if I’m a painting, drawing, sculpture or glass major?

While pursuing creative aspirations, most artists need to earn a living in order to pay for housing, food, utilities and other necessities. A résumé detailing your work experience and skills will be required in order for employers to consider you as a candidate. Please set up an appointment with Career Development for a peer coaching session to discuss your résumé and attend one of several resume clinics offered each semester at both the Oakland and SF campus locations.

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How do I begin my job search?

We encourage students to begin using Career Development resources early in their college career. Start by creating a résumé and attending career events. Remember, building your network is the greatest key to career success. CCA events are a great place to network and meet professionals.

Begin gathering business cards, connecting via LinkedIn, and speaking with faculty, staff, other students, and professionals in your interest areas as well as a career coach to learn about various career paths. Participating in an internship or volunteer work is an excellent way to learn more about a career path and gain or strengthen professional skills. Ask your career coach for information about applying for internships. While Career Development cannot find you an internship, our support and guidance in the process can help you be highly competitive and prepared.

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Am I required to do an internship in order to graduate?

Some programs at CCA require students to complete a paid internship prior to graduation:

Architecture
Graphic Design
Industrial Design
Interior Design

For fine arts and other majors, internships are strongly recommended, but not a requirement. (The fine arts Professional Practice course “Becoming a Professional Artist” is strongly encouraged as a complement or alternative to internships.)

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Who do I contact for an internship?

Talk to the faculty internship advisor of the corresponding program of your major.

If you are a fine arts major, you may contact Career Development or the fine arts internship advisor (see above) to set up a time to discuss your options. Site options are discussed at the mandatory internship meetings, held on each campus at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. (Fine arts meetings are held at the Oakland campus and are announced in advance through Career Development.)

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How do I establish an internship for credit?

Hours for credit vary with program approval. Approved internships offer academic credit in the student's major (zero to 3 units, depending on major: fine arts majors, 3 units). Students must be eligible, have all paperwork approved, and meet all requirements of their major. Note: An internship must be within the student's area of study and should fuse theory with practice.

Fine arts majors must attend a mandatory internship meeting held at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. Announcements are issued through email and campus fliers. For upcoming dates, contact Career Development.

Meet with a faculty internship advisor prior to starting an internship to determine how the grade and credit will be evaluated. Internships for fine arts students must be tied to the area of study. Review the list of faculty internship advisors by program.

Meetings must be completed throughout the semester, including the initial meeting.

Establish and complete the learning contract with internship supervisor. The learning contract must be mutually approved by the student and the internship employer to evaluate your performance with a recommendation for a grade at the end of the semester. This grade is taken into account along with other components such as attending a seminar, keeping a journal, and possibly writing a paper.

Complete the Internship Forms Packet:

Internship Forms

Also, see specific program guidelines regarding internships for your respective program:

Architecture
Graphic Design
Industrial Design
Interior Design

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Can I receive retroactive credit?

All requirements must be completed prior to registration and commencement of internship. No retroactive registration and grading occurs once the semester has started. If you plan to take an internship in the summer, please contact your program's [faculty internship advisor].

Questions? Contact Career Development.

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How do I find an internship?

Students pursue internships from our list of approved internship sites, or from working with Career Development or their program, or both. The Career Development Job Board lists internships that have the potential to give elective credit.

Our job board at CCA Works, is a great opportunity for students and alumni to connect with employers posting opportunities specifically for the CCA community. Also, students should attend the Career Development annual Career Expo in the spring, which is an excellent opportunity to connect with employers who represent a wide range of industries. Plan ahead for resume reviews and mock interview practice since the Career Development team receives numerous appointment requests leading up to our large career events.

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Salaries vary according to experience and skills required, academic level, type of position, type of employer, and location. Not all internships are paid. Students should consider the advantages and disadvantages of an internship before ruling out an unpaid internship.

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How can I make the most of my internship?

Be sure to make the most of your internship experience by taking initiative, developing contacts, and making a good impression. Here are some tips:

Clarify expectations. You and your employer need a set of guidelines and boundaries from which to work. It is necessary to agree upon your responsibilities in writing by using the learning contract.

Ask questions. The internship’s purpose is to help you learn and grow through practical experience. You won’t be expected to know everything, but you will be able to accomplish more if you ask questions.

Dress appropriately. Continue to dress professionally beyond the first day. Observe your coworkers’ clothing and dress accordingly.

Practice good communication skills. Behave professionally with coworkers, including your written correspondence. Proofread your work carefully. When speaking with coworkers, choose tactful language.

Be cooperative. Avoid complaining to coworkers about your workload, supervisor, or personal life. Accept assignments without complaint and complete them on time. Teamwork may be an essential part of your internship so be respectful of all team members’ input.

Document your experience. During your initial meeting with your faculty internship advisor, you will discuss the goals of the internship and the ways in which you will measure the outcomes. Here are some suggested ways of documenting your work:

  • Journal daily to show progress
  • Photograph shows or exhibitions
  • Keep copies of marketing materials you have produced
  • Retain a copy of a film you helped produce

Limit your use of cell phones, texting, and the internet for email and social networking. Most companies have policies in place regarding use of the Internet for personal purposes in the office (e.g., general internet “surfing,” accessing personal email, and using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter). Be sure to abide by the rules of your internship organization. Remember to always treat your internship like a real job.

Whether using personal property or company property, it is your responsibility to be aware of and adhere to these company or organization policies while on the job.

Concerns/issues in the workplace should be discussed with your supervisor. If challenges arise, contact your faculty internship advisor or Career Development to discuss how to resolve issues professionally and appropriately.

Keep in touch. A few weeks before your internship is completed, be sure to ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation. Also, keep in touch so that you can call upon that supervisor later, particularly when you are in need of a reference.

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