College Internships: What Internship is Right For You?
If you’re taking a break from school or only taking a few classes, it may be a great time to consider participating in an internship. An internship is a temporary job that will give you the opportunity to learn more about the positions available in the career fields you have chosen.
Many students are required to participate in an internship before they can graduate from college. If you don’t know whether or not you have to, be sure to check with your academic advisor to find out: you want to be sure that whatever internship you line up meets the requirements of your academic program. If you are not required to complete an internship, it may still be a good idea to participate in one. Not only do internships give you great work experience that makes you stand out when you apply for ‘real’ jobs, they can also give you some insights into a particular career field and allow you to network with career professionals. Hopefully, your internship experience will help you to better identify your career goals, lead to other job opportunities, and allow you to establish new professional relationships.
If you think you would like to be an intern, your next step is to find an internship. Start by looking in your school’s career center, the academic advising office, or in the academic department for your major within your college. Many businesses will distribute information to schools when they are looking for interns. You can also search the classified ads of your local paper, or search on the websites of the companies you are interested in working for to see if they have posted any job or internship opportunities. If you have a company in mind that you would like to intern with, but are not sure if they have any internships available, contact the company directly to find out if they would be willing to offer you an internship. Remember, if you offer to work as an unpaid intern, and agree to work strictly for the benefit of learning more about the business or position you’re interning in, most companies will welcome you with open arms – it’s tough these days to turn down an offer of free help!
When you do find a few possible internship opportunities, be sure to ask the companies some of the following questions:
- What will my responsibilities be?
- What hours can I work?
- If I do a great job, is there a chance that I may be offered a more
- Will I be paid?
- Is there anything I will have to pay for, like a parking pass, employee ID,
travel opportunities, business functions, etc.?
- Will I be able to gain some real work experience, or will my job role be
restricted significantly due to my internship status?
Remember, it is always good to be on the lookout for an internship opportunity of interest. Do yourself a favor and start looking today!