By Vicki Salemi, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
You should treat an internship search as if it’s a regular job search. By leveraging your connections, you can often network your way into the ground floor of a company.
It’s really never too early to start thinking about an internship or looking for internships. If you are always looking throughout the year, you are proving to people that you are interested and intrigued. You are also laying the groundwork for your future.
Homecoming can be a good opportunity to network with recent graduates from your school. They know you, you’ve had classes with them, and they’ve recently been through the internship/job search process so it is very likely that they will be interested in helping you out. See where everyone is working and how they might be able to help you find work. Sophomores and juniors should use sorority, fraternity, and other campus connections to see what opportunities are out there.
WHAT ABOUT GRADUATES THAT CAN’T FIND WORK AND ARE LOOKING FOR INTERNSHIPS INSTEAD?
The key is to use your networks and leave no stone unturned. You need to make internship/job searching very social. If you are starting out fresh, you have the opportunity to try new things. Internships are not indefinite so it’s worth giving things a try. Make goals for yourself regarding what you are going to accomplish during your time in the internship. Even if it’s an unpaid internship, treat it like a full time job and prove that you are capable of hard work.
3 TIPS FOR INTERNSHIP SEEKERS
1. TREAT YOUR INTERNSHIP SEARCH LIKE A JOB SEARCH. Internships, like full-time jobs, don’t always hit the “open” market. They won’t always be advertised online and if they do, you’re competing with hundreds of applicants. You need to be dedicated to researching and applying for internships if you want to get relevant job experience.
2. LEVERAGE YOUR UNIVERSITY TIES. Go to your career office and ask if they can give you access to a list of alums within your major or field, so you can get in touch with them. Make sure you network with recruiters and other high level professionals from your school – ask for an informational interview, and stay in touch on LinkedIn.
3. GET A TEMP JOB. Technically temp jobs are internships, except you’re paid hourly. It’s time to think outside the box: you’re seeking work experience to bulk up that resume. A temp job will do just that. Some temp jobs are menial like filing or answering phones but once you get in the door through the temp agency, you can prove yourself by asking to take on more work, ask to sit in on meetings, and make a valuable impression on your supervisors.
For more internship advice, check out StudentAdvisor’s Guide to Internships.
Do you have internship advice? Or, what was the best internship you’ve had? Comment & share below!
Vicki Salemi is the author of “The ABC’s of College Life and Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York City”.