It isn’t easy being a college student. You need to keep your grades up to maintain eligibility for scholarships and grants, balance studying with some semblance of a social life and full- or part-time work if you need help covering college costs, and seek out ways to boost your resume so that you don’t enter the job market after graduation with no experience in your field of study to speak of. Internships are one of the best ways to address that last responsibility, and have even become an option for those outside of college looking to expand their skill sets as part of a career change or to wait out a tough job market. To help you navigate the internship process, we’ve come up with resources on everything from finding, applying and choosing the perfect internship to using that internship to your advantage once you have it. Check out this internships section for that information and more so that you’re able to feel more confident about the process.
Finding an internship becomes much easier once you know what you’re looking for. It’s important then to spend some time thinking about what you want out the experience before you start looking. Once you do, where to look will fall into place as you realize which resources to contact, which professional groups and organizations to target, and who to see among your existing academic, professional, and student networks. The right internship will not only be a valuable experience that will allow you to expand your skills and boost your resume, but it should also be an experience you enjoy and that will help you down the line. Check out our page on finding an internship for more information on how to start your search and where to look once you do.
Applying for internships should be treated just like applying for jobs, and the effort you put into the process will be evident to the internship providers. You’ll have applications to fill out, references, resumes, and cover letters to provide, and interviews to prepare for. Take each step seriously and you’ll have a much better chance to stand out among others applying for that internship; and believe us, there are others, even for those unpaid opportunities. Check out our page on applying for internships for more information on what you’ll need as you’re applying for internships and what you’ll need once you land a few interviews with internship providers.
Before choosing an internship, you’ll need to decide what kind of internship you’re looking for, and whether you’re flexible in the kind of experience you’re after. Some internship seekers may not be able to afford an unpaid semester off to pursue an internship without a regular paycheck or stipend, for example, and others may be limited to applying for internships for the summer break rather than the fall or spring semesters. Think about what’s most important to you when you’re ready to choose an internship so that you have no regrets going in to the experience. Check out our page on choosing an internship for more information on the kinds of options you have when it comes time to make a decision.
We know you probably have a lot of questions to ask about the internship process, and lots of things to consider before choosing your perfect internship. Can you afford to take on an unpaid internship, for example? Or do you know how that internship experience will help you down the line? In fact, we had some of those same questions ourselves. Check out our page on the top 10 questions to ask before choosing internships to get yourself thinking on the kinds of things you should consider not only before signing on for an internship experience, but before applying for one as well.
Once you’ve decided on an internship, your work isn’t quite over just yet. You’ll now need to prepare for that internship, and make sure you’re ready to jump into the experience day one with both feet. Aside from the practical things to consider, like where you’ll be living while interning and how you’ll be getting to and from your new position, you should also consider what it’ll be like to intern, and how you can make sure that you’re an asset to that company or organization. Check out our page on preparing for an internship so that you know of the kinds of things you should expect once you start that internship, and what’s expected of you from your internship provider.
Internships don’t just give you something to do during the summer or semester. They also serve to boost your resume and give you the experience you need to be competitive on the job market, whether you’re still in college or a recent graduate. (Yes, internships have also become a viable option for those looking for a career shift; they’re not just for college students anymore.) Check out our page on internships as career experience to learn more about how you can use an internship to your advantage when gaining experience or exploring new fields, and how you can use internships as an answer to a tough economy.