You know that doing an internship offers several benefits but maybe you are not sure exactly what they are or how to find some good opportunities and what happens during an internship. This guide to internships covers these important points.
Why You Should Consider Doing An Internship
The most important reason why you should consider doing at least one internship is that it gives you valuable insight into whether or not a particular career is a good fit for you. You may be enamored with the idea of becoming a fashion designer. It sounds like a glamorous and exciting profession, but the reality is, it’s not all fun and games. The truth is being a fashion designer is hard work and requires immense creativity, precision skills, and a whole lot more. An internship with a fashion design house will give you a much-needed reality check that will help you decide whether this is the right career for you or not.
When you do an internship you will get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and whether or not you have the skills and aptitude for a career. In addition, an internship helps you build a network of professional contacts that you can reach out to as you embark upon your career after graduation.
Lastly, it’s a great addition to your resume. When you go job hunting immediately after you graduate, you will find yourself in a catch-22 situation. Every prospective employer is looking to hire someone who is experienced but how do you get that experience if nobody will give you the opportunity. One value of an internship is that you can add work experience in your resume.
Now that you know why internships are important, it’s time to start your search for an appropriate internship opportunity for you.
Where To Look For Internships
The best place to start your search for an internship in your field of study is within your network. Your parents, friends and friends’ parents are sure to know someone who would be willing to take you on as an intern. Of course, before you start making inquiries, it pays to do some self-reflection into your career interests so you can narrow down the types of internships you are looking at. You don’t want to ask a favor and then find yourself in a quandary because the internship involves a lot of outdoor work whereas your career interests revolve around doing laboratory research.
Your school teachers and counselors are another excellent resource. They would know where other students interned and many of them will also have know names of companies that have earned a reputation for encouraging internships. Some schools even have a designated resource area where they maintain internship listings. If you are not sure where to find it, ask.
Of course, no search for internships can be considered complete without searching the internet for an internship. If you are not entirely sure about your career choice, you could start by doing a search for all opportunities available in your area and choose something that you think may be the most beneficial for you. If you are pretty sure about the career you wish to pursue, you can do a search looking for opportunities in a specific field. Several companies advertise all kinds of job opportunities on their website, from full-time job opportunities, to part-time, temporary, summer and internship opportunities. Spend some time browsing around. You’ll be surprised at the many opportunities you will come across.
Don’t forget to check your local newspaper. Many local businesses are keen to help out youngsters in their community and advertise internship opportunities in the newspapers.
When looking for internships, it is a good idea to make a note of all the good opportunities you come across and the internship details or you are likely to forget. With your shortlist in hand, it’s time to apply to the internships that you think are best suited to you.
Applying For The Internship
You may not need to submit a formal application for an internship opportunity that is offered by someone within your network but you will need to apply to those you find through other sources.
Keep in mind that summer internships can be highly competitive. All high school students are thinking along the same lines as you and are also submitting applications for the same opportunities. To beat the competition, you must put in all your efforts to put together the best application possible. Keep these few tips in mind.
Write a compelling cover letter emphasizing why you are interested in the opportunity and also why you think you would be the best person for that role. Make it short but convincing. Three things you want to mention in the cover letter are what triggered your passion for that particular role, how it will help you gain the required knowledge and skills and also the value you will bring to the company.
Develop personalized CVs. At this point, you probably have a generalized CV listing your educational qualifications and your various extracurricular accomplishments. But is it appropriate to the position you are applying for? You must think about how you can tweak your CV so that it is relevant to the company and the position you are applying for. A generalized CV will not work.
Clean up your social media presence. This is something you need to do whether you are applying for an internship or for college admissions. So get to it. Not only should you delete everything that puts you in an unfavorable light, but you also need to start developing a positive presence. One way to do this is by creating and growing a professional LinkedIn profile. Another way is by creating a Facebook account and using it to talk about your accomplishments and all things relevant to your career interests.
Last but not least, don’t give up. Just like college applications, there are more applicants than there are opportunities. Keep applying. The more applications you send out the better your chances of finding an opportunity that’s just right for you.
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