Are you searching for your first internship, or interested in finding another one to add to your resume? Internships can be extremely valuable experiences as you are beginning to enter the world of careers and work. This is because with an internship, you can temporarily try out different jobs and industries to see what it’s like working in the industry, testing what it’s like to work at a specific company, and more.
While the best internships are oftentimes hard to land and extremely competitive, there are thousands of internships out there that are searching for the right person to come along. With some preparation, you can put yourself in a position to get a dream gig that can set you on the path you’ve always dreamed of.
Whether you are looking for a summer internship or a full-time internship, here are some tips to help you not just find your dream internship, but to land it too.
The first step to consider once you have chosen to embark on a search for an internship is to identify what kind of internship and opportunities you are looking for. Sometimes, you don’t know exactly what you want and that’s ok because that’s what internships are all about anyways! Trying out new things to figure out what you like and don’t like.
But before you know whether you like it or not, you have to land the internship first. One of the best ways to do this is to talk to people who already work in the field you might be interested in. By talking to someone who already works in the field, you can tell them about you and your interests and they can give advice and consider different people, organizations, or companies that they know of who might have an internship opening.
Someone to talk to can range from a friend of your parents, to professors, academic advisors, or someone in your own personal network.
By talking to someone who is already in the field, you can learn insight about the industry from them as well, and they can help you learn where you should be focusing your energies based on your interests. Networking is always useful—even if one conversation does not land you an internship now, it might be a connection that opens doors for you in the future.
Whether you are in high school or college, schools oftentimes will create and build networks and relationships with local companies and businesses so that schools can help connect students to reputable internships, and so businesses can know they are hiring interns who they can trust.
Oftentimes, if you are in university already—but some high schools too!—you can even earn credits towards your academic degree in exchange for doing internships. So, by applying for an internship that is approved by your university by the nature of the connection, you can alleviate some stress in knowing that this will be beneficial for you academically and professionally.
What’s more, you might be thinking that if an internship is facilitated for you through your school, it might not be as professional. That is certainly not the case! Many times, companies and businesses will actually foster relationships with schools, because they want to know who the best and brightest students are so they can offer them internships and hopefully down the line, jobs!
Did you know that there are fairs and conventions that are planned all over the country at ever level of the professional world, just to meet and greet for jobs? That’s right, job fairs are one of the best ways to land an internship, and many corporations and companies will plan their own job fairs so that students or potential interns can go learn about the opportunities and meet actual employees to network.
Many universities and colleges will host job fairs as well, so that local companies can come to campus to meet prospective interns and employees. For job fairs, being prepared is the number one thing you can do. By knowing a bit about the companies who will be present, having your elevator pitch rehearsed, and looking professional, you can make sure you give potential employers great first impressions so they will remember you when they’re looking to hire an intern in the future.
Since large companies and corporations have many different departments that each need multiple interns, chances are that your coveted company has tons of internship opportunities available. But it also means that a lot of other people might be trying to land the same internship position as you.
Whether it’s a startup, a retail chain, food company, or TV network, every kind of industry accepts interns into their offices and interns are vital parts of each and every type of company around.
While working for a major company might be your end goal, how do you think people who are working there got their jobs? They had lots of other types of experience from smaller and lesser companies beforehand.
So, when you are working towards landing your dream internship, no opportunity to add something to your resume is invaluable. In fact, by taking other less prestigious jobs and internships, you can gain valuable experience that will make you even more appealing and marketable to land internships at more established companies.
So, when you consider which are the right types of internships for you, make sure that you look at the responsibilities that position will entail. Maybe an internship at a lesser company will be more in line with what your goals are and the internship at the famous company will just be filing papers!
Many companies do not interview for internships all year round. Sometimes, they only open internship positions for the school semesters and summer, meaning that they interview at certain points of the year prior to when the internship will actually take place.
If you have internships in mind that you want to apply to, it’s important to make sure you get your applications in on time. Applications can be due as far as 6 months before your internship is actually going to begin! So, you’ll want to make sure that your resume is up to par and that you don’t miss the deadline to get your application in.