Preparing to get into an internship can be overwhelming. If you are new to the internship world, you probably have questions like, Where do I look for one?, What should I be looking for?, and “How do I get started?”
Internships serve as a way to test out the talent pool. Let's dive into the more commonly asked questions around internships and how to land the right one for you:
What Is an Internship?
An internship is an opportunity for individuals who are just getting started in their careers to work at a company and gain real-world experience in their desired field.
Typically, but not always, internships are taken on by students for academic credit. As such, most internships will last a few months and have start and end dates that fit nicely within the academic calendar.
Experience comes in all shapes and sizes! The goal of an internship is to help you gain industry experience for your professional future, so try to keep an open mind about the different internships out there
Where Can I Apply?
If you were to search “internships” on a job board, you may be overwhelmed with what you find. Job boards like, Glassdoor, Indeed, Google Jobs, and ZipRecruiter are where many people start their internship searches to get a feel of what internships are available (Spoiler Alert: It's a lot). But your search for an internship shouldn't begin and end with a search for the word "internship".
Do your research on companies and ask around! Often, businesses will work with schools to get their internship opportunity in front of students, so your school’s career center is also a great place to look.
Additionally, don't be afraid to reach out to HR teams of your desired company. Sometimes bigger companies will quietly open up their internships before they put the opportunity onto a public job board.
Don’t forget to check with your connections, too. Internships tend to be competitive –especially if they are paid. Having someone on the inside who can vouch for your character can go a long way in getting your foot in the door.
What Type of Internships Should I Look For?
Be sure to refrain from pigeonholing yourself into one type of role or company. When you are deciding what kind of internship to take, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal of an internship is to help you gain industry experience for your professional future.
You never know where life will take you, and you may need different types of experience or skills, so be sure to try to learn everything you can.
Internships should be viewed as a starting role for you to get your foot in the door. You may discover a passion for that industry if you give it a try. Think about the experience you will have gained and can add to and spruce up your resume.
How Do I Get Started?
Before you start applying to internships, you’ll want to refine your resume and have a second pair of eyes review it. If this internship is your first venture into the job market, remember your experiences to date can be used to sell your value.
Make sure to adjust your resume to cater to the internship you are applying to and use relevant keywords. Brush up on your interviewing skills --research typical interview questions and formulate answers in the STAR technique.
Become familiar with your resume and be confident in your job duties.
It’s important to not overthink searching for internships. Optimize the internet and personal connections that you may already have. Keep an open mind, broaden your search, and explore all types of opportunities.
Refresh and fine-tune your resume, and familiarize yourself with the details of your previous work experience, and really think about what types of roles you would enjoy pursuing throughout your career. If you follow these guidelines, there is no doubt that you will end up with an internship you’ll love and one that will put your career on the right path.