Internships are a vital source of experience and skills for college students and individuals looking to change careers. Because the internship process is quite different from a traditional position, it’s important to know how to find and land your ideal internship.
When & Where to Look for Internships:In most cases, internship supervisors look to fill their programs as early as possible. Some companies offer the same opportunities each year, whereas other companies find interns on an as-needed basis. In general, however, intern supervisors start accepting applications and resumes one to two months before the start date of the internship.
Each opportunity will be slightly different and require a different level of commitment from the intern candidate. Therefore, it’s important to pinpoint a semester (spring, summer or fall) in which you can take on the responsibilities of the internship in order to make the best impression possible on the employer. Many employers look to their intern pool to hire for future positions—so treat your position seriously!
When you know you’re ready to take on an internship, start looking at opportunities available in your field of interest. If you’ve declared your major, you’ll likely hear about internship opportunities through the college department advisor. Think about the ideal company you’d like to work for and check out their website for more information on internships they offer. If there is no information, contact the department and inquire about the possibility of interning there.
Other websites geared towards internships can help you narrow down the opportunities that interest you. Check out Intern Queen, YouTern, and Urban Interns, just to name a few.
The “Best Time” to Intern: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers expect a 13 percent increase this spring in the hiring of graduating seniors. However, surveyed employers have also shared that many of them do the majority of college recruiting in the fall. There really isn’t a “best time” to intern, but competition may be higher in busy internship seasons, such as summer.
How to Land a Full-Time Position from an Internship
Hoping to turn your internship into a full-time job? Here are some tips to help you impress your supervisor:
Volunteer to help with additional projects or tasks outside of your job description
Provide value on something the organization may currently be lacking, such as social media
Clarify assignments that you are unsure about and communicate often with your internship supervisor
Show that you are capable of completing tasks efficiently and correctly by meeting deadlines and doing your best work
Keep in contact with your connections at the organization you interned for—you never know when an opening may occur!
What internship advice would you add?