So you’re in college, you’ve decided on a major to study, and now it’s time to find out what’s next… internships.
Internships are the natural next step in your college journey. They provide you with real-world industry learning opportunities and help you become a more well-rounded student and young professional. Typically, a student may work an internship during the summer between years in college, but there are internships offered all throughout the year. However, in order to find relevant internships, there may be a few things you want to consider. In this three-part guide, we will cover how to find internships that are going to get you where you want to be going.
How to Find an Internship: Part 1
The first part is all about brainstorming and considering the internships and careers that interest you. At this stage, you want to think about yourself and your studies and how that translates into a career.
Talk to professors and advisors in your department
Your major may lead to many different career options. This can feel overwhelming if you don’t know much about these different positions or how your interests translate into them. This is where professors and advisors can be helpful.
Meet with your professors to learn about different positions. If they used to (or still do) work in the field, they can provide great insight into the environment and may be able to tell you about more internship and career options.
Evaluate your interests and likes
You may have a career or internship in mind that you want to pursue, but before settling on one area, be sure to consider your interests and likes. Write a long list of everything you like to do. This list could include things beyond education and career-based items. Maybe your list includes running or watching movies.
Being able to see your interests and likes all on one page can help you focus on what you may like to intern in. Even if the interests don’t seem like they apply, keep them in the back of your head; they may become useful when you’re thinking about different industries.
How to Find an Internship: Part 2
The second part is about learning more and beginning to search for and find internships all while keeping your goals after graduation in mind.
Attend career fairs at your school
One of the most convenient ways to begin your internship search is through campus career fairs. Not only do they showcase many different companies, but they also give you great practice in talking to others, sharing your resume, and building connections.
Dress professionally and bring copies of your resume to pass out to recruiters. You may also want to bring a small notepad with you to jot down the names and emails of the people you meet. Be open to all sorts of different opportunities!
Consider goals after graduation
When thinking about the internships that are relevant to you, also think about your goals after graduation. A relevant internship is also one that is helpful in preparing you for the future. Internships are stepping stones to your career goals, so choosing an internship that aligns with them is key.
Here are a couple of questions to answer while considering your goals for after graduation:
- What type of company do I want to work for?
- What are the requirements for my dream job?
Look for internship descriptions with tasks that can transform into skills to put on your resume. These skills may help you in the future when you apply for a second internship or for a full-time position. Internships help prepare you for the requirements of future jobs. Having internship skills under your belt may help you become a more desirable applicant going forward.
How to Find an Internship: Part 3
In the third and final part, we discuss pursuing and applying for internship opportunities.
Apply for internships
If you have contacts or companies that interested you from a career fair consider reaching out to them and checking to see if they have open internships in your desired field. When applying for an internship, you most likely may need to include a resume and may additionally need to include work samples depending on the role.
Some applications may also require a cover letter, while others may make it optional. However, writing a cover letter even when it’s optional may show how eager and excited you are for the opportunity.
Preparing for your interviews may help you be less nervous and feel more confident when speaking with the interviewer. Practice your interview with a friend, family member, or even a professor. Talk to classmates in your field and professors to see if they have insights into field-specific questions the interviewer may ask.
READ MORE >> 11 Great Interview Tips
Even if the interviewer never ends up asking any of the questions you prepared for, having a few points in the back of your head will be helpful. Be cautious not to sound too rehearsed when interviewing; it’s okay to be natural and organic in the way you speak and answer questions.
Select the internship that best aligns with your goals
If you find and have the opportunity to pick between a couple or a few different internships, consider your goals and values. Select the internship that best aligns with your career goals and seems like it would add the most value to your career and personal development.
Finding internships is an exciting time, but College Raptor understands it can also be stressful and difficult. Because of this, we have many articles all about internships such as 16 Great Internships for Students, 5 Types of Internships and Things to Consider When Choosing, and Best Websites For Finding An Internship.