As most college students know, finding an internship is a necessary step to finding a job and sometimes a requirement to get your degree.
I went into college with an internship already up under my belt and wasn’t too worried about gaining any additional experience, but it wasn’t until the summer before my junior year that I realized how vital an internship was to become successful in my career field.
Now, with four internships on my resume and one more lined up before fall graduation, I truly believe that I’m fully prepared for anything the “real world” career field will throw at me.
Here are a few tips to find not only an internship in your industry, but an internship where you’ll gain preparedness and connections that will last you your entire career.
The first thing I tell anyone who asks me how I found my internships is to utilize LinkedIn.
I was introduced to LinkedIn my junior year of high school but didn’t really use it until I came to TROY, declared my major and began searching for opportunities within my career field.
I put in my interests and skills, and as I began searching for local and remote opportunities, the more LinkedIn began promoting content that I was interested in and advertising positions that would benefit me.
As I began building my career and connecting with old coworkers and with employees at companies I was interested in working at, the more exposure I gained to not only job opportunities, but also to tips for a better resume, securing and excelling in interviews and becoming more marketable.
I can honestly say that I would not have half of my internships if it wasn’t for LinkedIn exposing me to different possibilities.
Handshake is an amazing app to use, especially for remote opportunities.
If you’re a college student who isn’t able to travel for work, or if you even just want to try out different markets, Handshake is a great place to find internships that work around your time schedule while still giving you a virtual-esque hands-on experience in your field.
- Talk to your professors and faculty!
I wouldn’t have my current opportunities if it wasn’t for the professors I’ve met along the way. Each professor guided me in the right direction when it came to growing in my career field, and presented me with opportunities I wouldn’t have found on my own. Even professors who aren’t in the same industry would send links to different internships and fellowship opportunities.
Your professors want to help you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help!
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
As cliche as it sounds, putting yourself out there and letting people know that you’re in search of opportunities is an important step in gaining experience.
Employers won’t know you’re interested in opportunities if you keep it to yourself.
By marketing your skills and experience, internships will find you!
You can take this step by reaching out to companies and employees via Linkedin, or even sending an email to a local place you’re interested in working for.
Finding an internship can be a daunting process and one you think you might need to save for your final semester, but it’s important to go ahead and build the necessary skills it takes to not only obtain one but to gain skills and build relationships that will last beyond your college years.