Nailing an internship is like nailing a job. There are a lot of them, but there are also a lot of applicants; which means you need to be prepared just like you’d be prepared if you were job searching.
An internship is also on-the-job training, but usually it’s unpaid (if it’s paid, consider that a big score!). So, even though you’ll be volunteering your time, you’ll also be getting tremendous value by:
- learning new skills
- having a chance to try out the career and the work environment
- gaining career related experiences
- meeting people and building your network
- getting your foot in the door of the company or the industry
- showing an employer what you’re capable of and how you can help them
Some companies welcome people into internships because they want to help others learn about their industry, but oftentimes it’s a chance for an employer to try out a potential employee; they might consider it an extended “interview” where they get to see what you got on a day to day basis rather than just in a 1 hour interview where everyone plays nice. Internships can help employers discover if a person is a good fit for their company’s mission and their company’s culture, before they make a commitment to hire someone; kind of like a test drive.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation for both the employer and the intern if it’s a good fit.
Where do I find Internships?
You can look for internships in many of the same ways as we listed in the previous Topic “On the Job Training”:
- Ask friends and family if they know anyone or have any ideas.
- Post on your social media accounts that you’re looking for an internship in (fill in the blank) industry and does anyone have ideas?
- Find the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles for companies you’re interested in and follow them. They might post internships there.
- Contact the local trade association or union for the career you’re interested in.
- Contact the local “Career OneStop” in your area (every state has them).
- Reach out to local companies that you’d like to work at and ask if they’d be willing to bring on an intern for x number of months. Make sure you have an idea as to what you could offer the company and how they’d benefit.
Online sites focused exclusively on matching people with internships: