1) Ask Around
TAKE ACTION: Make a list of at least 10 people (professors, parents, friend’s parents, mentors etc.) you know that you want to approach in helping you find an internship. Develop a short script explaining what type of opportunity you are looking for and how they can help you. Keep your script short (under 30 seconds). Tomorrow, start asking around. Getting comfortable talking to others and sharing your goals will come in handy later as you start to build your networking skills.
2) Visit career services on campus
- Make an Appointment: Schedule a time to sit down with a career counselor/advisor to go over your resume. Discuss your internship goals and create a plan for finding internships each year, and ultimately finding a job. You should work with your counselor to update your plan at the beginning of each semester.
- Assess Your Skills: Some offices offer the opportunity for students to take skills assessment tests. If you are still trying to figure out your major and need some career direction, sign up to take a skills assessment and learn what careers you might be best suited for.
3) Don’t Ignore Small Businesses and Non-Profits
When I was in college, I completed eight internships, some with big companies and some with small. No matter where the internship opportunity is, you have the ability to learn, observe, ask questions, and contribute to a company or organization. If you embrace the opportunity you can come away with what you realize later was your dream internship.
4) Do online searches
There are many job boards where companies post their available internships. Start with the sites listed belo that focus on internships.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the online search options. As you compile your list of companies that you are interested in interning for, visit their websites as well. Larger companies post their internships on their own sites, as well as their required internship application, eligibility requirements and application deadlines. Follow the top companies you are interested in on LinkedIn and Twitter. Create a LinkedIn profile today if you don’t’ have one already.
5. Apply to Internship Recruitment Programs
Internship recruitment programs often require a competitive application process to gain admission. The process is worth it considering that the majority of these experiences provide paid internships and connect you directly to major companies or government agencies. Once a part of a program you generally have the additional advantage of support before, during and after your internship experience. You become a part of a large network that extends beyond your college network. While there are the Paid Minority Internship Recruitment Programs You’re Missing Out On, there are others program like the Washington Center Internship program as well.
Get started on getting your dream internship and becoming a superstar intern, right now!
Updated July 2018.
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