Are you a high school student or a college undergraduate looking for something more than just earning a paycheck? Did you ever think about working in an industry where you actually like what you’re doing and possibly make a living? Consider securing an internship position. An internship is a job, usually on a temporary basis, where you can test out the hands-on workings of a particular industry. If you are a high school senior, participating in an internship can perhaps narrow down your college choices, depending on majors for which you have an interest and the colleges that offer those particular majors. If you are a college undergraduate, participating in an internship is often a curriculum requirement for a number of majors. Even if your chosen major doesn’t require an internship, it is still a big advantage to participate in one.
Advantages of an Internship
- An excellent opportunity to see if you really like to work in an environment
for which you have an interest
- Helps identify and sharpen your career goals
- Invaluable work experience that sets you apart from others and gives you a
competitive edge in securing a more permanent job
- An opportunity to network with professionals in your chosen field which may lead to other, more lucrative jobs later on
Sources/Tips for Finding an Internship
- Guidance counselor offices (for high school students)
- College night events where college representatives visit various high schools
- Career services offices (for college students)
- Teachers, family, friends, parents of friends, former employers, etc.
- Contact employers (via telephone, email, or regular mail) that match your areas of interest and inquire about possible internships
- Search through local newspapers want ads and local job websites that advertise summer jobs or internships
Questions to Ask When Trying to Secure an Internship
- What are my duties and responsibilities?
- What times am I allowed to work?
- Is this a paid internship?
- Are there any personal expenses I am required to meet for the internship, such as parking passes or travel functions?
- Will my internship duties have a direct effect on the company’s well-being or will it be only for learning purposes?
- Most importantly, upon completion of my stated internship, is there a real opportunity to switch my status to a more permanent position in the company?
Lastly, whether you landed a more permanent job with the company/organization or not, you will always learn from the experiences gained from internships that will shape your professional and personal life.
Good Luck and Good Hunting!