My friends have this nickname for me, The queen of internships. Now, i don’t know if that has a negative connotation (because of course I have too many internships and not enough jobs under my belt!) but I don’t care. If you’re looking to start an internship, here are some things that you need to consider.
1. Make sure it will benefit you.
In the future, you may want to take an internship to improve your portfolio or put into effect the things you’ve learned – leave that until after you finish an internship. Companies are always offering internships, why? Because it’s free labor, they won’t lose anything, and they can afford to be picky. But, don’t just accept the first internship you get. You don’t want to be pouring people coffee or basically spend your day right next to the copier or scanner, now do you? So, choose one that will really benefit you and further your career. Make sure they have time to teach you how to use new software, design, write, etc.
2. Know what to expect.
Before I choose an internship, I always weigh all my options. There are some really great internships out there, where they are willing to teach you everything, but you won’t get paid. There are other ones that won’t teach you as much, and you’ll be doing things you normally do – and you will get hired at the end. So, when you go into an internship you have to consider: Am I going to get hired? Nothing sucks more than having false hope that the place you’re interning at is going to hire you at the end.
I’m fine with not being hired, as long as I have something great to put on my resume and a letter of recommendation. Not everything revolves around money, I would choose an internship with a well established company rather than an internship with a small store where I would get paid minimum wage. Yes, you’ll get paid – but will you learn anything? The established company will give you more credibility.
3. Find internships using these websites.
Where are you looking for internships? I use: internmatch.com, linkedin.com, craigslist.com (hey, you can find good things on here sometimes), volunteermatch.com. Just do a simple google search and the results are endless. Also, don’t forget your college career website!
4. Seek out paid internships when you can.
Paid internships are harder to get, but they look great on your resume and you’ll be sure that you’re going to learn a lot. There are some summer internships that are 40 hours a week for 3 months. Yea, you’re getting about 10 dollars an hour, but the experience you’ll gain in those 3 months combined with how great it’ll look on your resume is priceless.
5. DO AN INTERNSHIP.
If you’re coming out of college with nothing under your resume that you can be proud of… then that sucks. Do an internship. Get connections. Get great references that you can put on your resume. My internships have opened me to so many job opportunities, and taught me so many things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.