After graduation, you’ll find that employers want to hire someone with experience beyond the classroom. Internships are great ways to gain experience while still in college.
Here are some considerations when seeking an internship:
Think about the type of internship you want.
- Paid vs. unpaid
- Paid internships are obviously preferable, but if you can only find unpaid internships that offer the experience you want, they’ll still be valuable.
- Hours required
- If you have a busy schedule, try to find an internship with short, flexible hours. In the summer, an internship that requires more hours at specific times may be more reasonable.
- Type of work
- Do you want an internship where you’ll do one specific task, or one that will provide a broad range of experiences?
Pay attention to listings at your college
College campuses have areas where they post jobs and internships, so check out bulletin boards, read your emails, and use online searches provided by your college.
Talk to your college’s career services advisor
The college career services office can help you search for an internship relevant to your major, build a resume and hone your interview skills.
Make a good impression during the application process
If you’ve never had an internship, use teachers and bosses from part-time jobs as references. If you’re asked for samples of work, use classwork. Follow the same rules for dress and behavior during an interview as you would when looking for a career after graduation.
Figure out credit requirements
Your college may provide credit hours for your internship which will go toward graduation requirements. If so, understand what you and your internship supervisor must do to ensure the credits will count.
Work hard and push yourself
Take your internship as seriously as a full-time job. You’re there for two reasons: to help the company who hired you and to gain experience you can use when searching for a career. Doing a great job and pushing yourself has two important results:
- It will ensure a good review from your internship supervisor, which will look great to prospective employers. There’s even a chance that the internship could turn into a full-time position after graduation.
- A good experience at an internship can make you feel more comfortable and prepared when moving into your first post-graduation, full-time job.
For more in-depth advice for getting the most out of your internship, read this article.
An internship during college should make your career search go much more smoothly and quickly. So go out and start searching!