When you apply for a job after college, employers are going to look at your resume to see if you have any relevant experience. Internships are a great way to grow your skills and show potential employers what you can do. Getting hands-on experience and enhancing your knowledge/skill sets in your field is invaluable! Here are some tips when trying to find the perfect internship:
- Start early. Start looking for internships as soon as possible. The more experience you have, the larger your network, and the more marketable you look to a future employer. Don’t be afraid to go for it as a freshman!
- Join an organization on campus. Being part of an organization allows you to network with professionals, professors, and other students. You may have the opportunity to go to competitions and showcase your work. Also, talk with your family and friends to see if they have any connections to build up your network. Networking leads to more opportunities — take advantage of these options!
- Search the web. This part is a pain, but it’s necessary. Choose companies you’d like to work for and search their websites for internship openings. Look for specialized job search engines specific to your field. For example, if you want to pursue an internship in sports, check out TeamWork Online, which has thousands of postings for opportunities in sports.
- Prepare and polish your skills: Go to writing workshops at your college to have your resume and cover letter critiqued. Also, compile a list of references and letters of recommendations from past supervisors, professors, advisors, coaches, etc. Lastly, put together a portfolio that showcases your work and knowledge. Having this might help put you above other candidates when applying for internships or jobs.
- Research: Before you go into an interview, make sure you understand the roles and duties that are required of you as an intern. Also, do some research into the company. Understand what they do, what their values are, if they do events in the community, what they are known for, etc. Then develop your questions based around the job and the company itself.
Remember: patience is key when looking for internships or jobs. You will have tons of opportunities and resources available to you to achieve your goals, but it is ultimately up to you to put the work in.
Do you have any tips for finding the perfect college internship? Leave your ideas in the comments!