Today, most people’s first experience working in their field comes from an internship. Most of them do their first internship during college, and many companies offer internships exclusively for students. These tips will help you find a great internship while you’re still in school.
- Decide your Career Goals
Before you begin your internship search, you should first decide your career goals. Write out a list of what you want from a career. Then, research different jobs in your field, and write down the ones that interest you. You should then use these criteria when you’re looking for an internship.
- Leave Free Days in your Class Schedule
Internships are usually offered both during the school year and in the summer. If you decide to do an internship in your fall or spring semester, be sure to leave room in your schedule for it. Try to arrange your schedule so you only have class two or three day a week. Or, if that isn’t possible, leave large chunks of each day free. Your employer will appreciate your flexibility, and it may put you in front of someone who does not have as much time in their schedule for the internship.
- Check out Online Internships
Many companies are now offering internships that take place exclusively online. With an online internship, you won’t have to worry about getting to an office or having set hours. If you don’t have much room in your schedule, this could be a good choice for you. Many internship-finding websites have a category for online internships—try browsing through this category to see if you can find anything in your field.
- Ask your Career Services for Help
When you first start looking for an internship, you should utilize your college’s Center for Career Development. They will be able to help you find internships in your field, and they may give you new ideas for internships. They will also be able to help spruce up your cover letter and resume, and they can give you interview tips. The Center for Career Development is a good resource for anyone who’s looking for an internship.
- Go to Career Fairs
Most colleges host career fairs at least once or twice a year. When your college has their career fair, you should put on a professional outfit, print out your resume, and head over there. Companies at the fair are actively recruiting students from your college, which gives you a much better chance of getting an internship. Here is the list of career fairs organized on the UConn campus. Before you go, take a look at all the companies that will be at the career fair, and choose a few in your field. Then, head over to these companies’ booths and give them an elevator pitch that highlights your skills. Hand over your resume and get a business card, and follow up with them right after the career fair. A career fair is the perfect opportunity for college students to find an internship.
- Keep Searching
Competition for internships is fierce. Because of that, it may take a while for you to get any responses to your resume. But don’t let this stop you—keep sending out to every company that appeals to you. Check every day for new internship opportunities, and respond to the listings as quickly as you can. If you persevere, you’ll eventually get an internship in your field.
When you’re still in college, you should try to do at least one internship. An internship will help prepare you for post-grad life, and it will show you what it’s really like to work in your field. These tips will help you land a great internship that could potentially even lead to a great job.
About author: Piyush is the founder and editor of EducareLab, a free online resource website for high school and college students that covers topics ranging from career advice and student debt management to managing test anxiety and outdoor adventure.