Internships are one of the best and practical ways to get you a competitive edge in the workplace.
The training you’ll get will teach you the fundamental operations of a company and its industry, which will help you prepare better when you start working for real. They are also efficient because most internships only last for a couple of months and may even be pursued in a part-time basis. If you’re still an undergrad student, for example, internships can help you earn experience and even a few bucks without compromising your studies as much. Internships can also help you establish networks and connections in a relatively earlier stage, giving you an advantage over possible employment competition you will stumble upon in the future.
Overall, internships are a great deal. More often than not, they can make a significant difference in your employment, especially at the start of your career path.
But where exactly should you start? What are some of the things you should take note of before getting an internship? How should you prepare for one?
Let’s find out!
Generally, knowing your goals and interests can help you contextualize your long-term objectives.
There is a risk that you may end up in an internship program that do not suit your long-term goals. You may not even enjoy the whole experience because midway through the program, you may suddenly realize that the program is not for you. If you are to apply in for an internship that you’re not interested in, you may end up losing motivation and encouragement in the long run.
So try your best not to act on impulsiveness. Take some time to lay down your desired outcomes and work your way to finding an internship that best corresponds w your interests.
Along with identifying your goals and interests, you must also consider your qualifications. By settling on a range of options relevant to your credentials, you’ll find it easier to apply to internship programs that complement your knowledge, skills, and prior training (if any). One qualification you must consider is your degree. Before applying for an internship, ask yourself: “is my degree appropriate for this program?” More often than not, companies offer internships to students or new graduates holding a degree relevant to the institution’s interests. So this should help you narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to secure one.
Taking note of your skills and abilities can help you with your options. Let’s say if you wish to become a university researcher, what is be the best internship for you? Definitely in an institution that uses scientific or market research in their operations. If you are a campus journalist, it’s best to apply for internships that can further improve your skills in writing or journalism as.
Establish a set of skills you have, and this will make it easier for employers to put you in a position where you can use these skills to train and improve.
It’s understandable that you will have limited experience in your resume when applying for internships since it may be your first time, and that’s okay!
Just put in your educational background along with courses or modules you’ve taken in your studies. It is also best to limit them to those which you think are relevant to the specific position you’re applying to. This can make it easier and more efficient for the employers to assess the specific qualifications you have and suit you to a position they think is best for you. If you’re applying as a writer, for example, you can put in classes and seminars you’ve attended on writing.
In general, you want your resume to be concise. Also make sure that your resume looks clean and professional.
Now that you’ve established your skills, qualifications, goals, and interests (and used them to write a resume), what do you do next? Of course, it’s time to look for internship programs in various platforms!
The first one, obviously, will be online job platforms as they are the easiest and most accessible media to look and apply for internships. There are millions of job postings on job sites. While it’s easy to send you resume to every job posting that you see, again, remember to always filter some out by taking note of your knowledge, skills, qualifications, and goals. You can also use keywords that can filter out internships most appropriate for you. It’s also worth noting that you should always update your uploaded resume, cover letter, and online profile to make sure that they coincide with each other. You will run into problems if you are to put out inaccurate and outdated information.
Some university resources are available in almost every educational institution there is. These resources also consist of a sites where students can look for internship positions under the college’s partner organizations.
Seeking help from professional connections and networks are also both a practical and ideal tactic for applicants to find a job or internship program. Networks can be great career kick starters.
So before applying for an internship (or even a full-time job), try to attend academic and professional gatherings or events that suit your interests. Through these, you may stumble upon employment opportunities by meeting professionals in your interested industries. You should also try establishing professional ties with staffs from your university or any prior companies.
Still, keep in mind that you will not necessarily be employed on the spot. What you can do is to keep your connections’ contact details and send follow-ups for possible employment opportunities through formal emails.
There are also tons of internship programs offered in face-to-face job fairs. It is another alternative over online applications.