If you’re in college, then it might be a good idea to start thinking about what internships you would like to apply for. Especially if you want to start working after you graduate, most jobs will ask for prior experience, and even if they don’t, they usually prefer it.
In order to get the job that you want after graduation, you need to show your future employer that you are interested in the field and were proactive about improving your skills and gaining experience through internships. We recommend that you have two internships during university: the first one in the summer between Sophomore and Junior year, and the second one in the summer between Junior and Senior year. If you want to have another internship during the semester then go ahead!
But how do you find an internship? And how do you make sure it’s worth it for your future goals?
Identify the field you want to work in
First, you need to decide on what field and industry your interests lie in. This will make it a lot easier to filter out different internships and pick one that is most applicable to you and your future career. If you want to have a job in political consulting, then an internship in the fashion industry is not the most relevant for you.
Take advantage of your resources
Plan out when you are thinking about doing your internships and where. Many schools offer study abroad programs where you can do an internship for college credit. If you are unsure about your summer plans and have the budget to go overseas, do it! You will not only get the chance to immerse yourself in another culture, but you will also gain international work experience, which can be a competitive advantage.
If you are in your last years of college or grad school, narrow down your internship applications to the companies you like. Some companies send out full-time offers to their interns, so make sure you hustle and show them why you are irreplaceable.
An internship can be expensive. Many internships are still unpaid, and some don’t pay a lot. So if you’re planning on doing an internship out of your hometown, make sure you have the budget for it. Check rent, food, and transportation prices. Cities like Boston, NYC, or DC can be expensive to live in, so if you know someone in the area, make sure to get information from them, such as where the most affordable places to live are and how much you should save for other expenses. Also, make sure that you have some emergency money in case anything happens!
Make sure that you use all the tools at your disposal. If you are currently in school, you can access your school’s career center and make an appointment to get your resume and cover letters checked. Furthermore, you have access to advisors you can talk to, and they can show you tricks and tips on connecting with alumni in your desired industry!
Skills are transferable
So don’t panic if you don’t get your dream internship in the industry you wanted. Your dream job is not in jeopardy. In fact, you can use this internship to highlight all the skills you gained that are applicable to your ideal job: data entry, data analytics, making presentations for clients, teamwork, independence, language skills, etc. the list is endless! And you can even express to your interviewer that this internship made it clear that your interests lie 100% in the field you are applying for.
C & M