Find an Internship That Aligns With Your Interests and Goals
Summer internships are an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience, enhance their skill set, and fight off summer brain drain. Unfortunately, finding a best-fit internship opportunity that aligns with your needs and goals can be challenging.
In order to make the most of your summer internship, it is important to start your search early and know exactly what you are looking for. Keep reading for some of our top application tips to help you find the internship opportunity of your dreams.
Brainstorm Your Goals
Before you start applying to every internship opportunity you can find, take a moment to reflect on what you are hoping to get out of this experience and what role you want it to play in your academic journey. Are you looking to deepen your experience in a field you already have expertise in or explore a career path that is totally new to you? What kinds of skills and professional competencies do you wish to walk away with? How much time are you willing to devote to this commitment? Write down your answers to these questions and refer back to your notes throughout your internship search.
Keep an Eye on Timing
Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by sending in your application at the appropriate time. Different companies may begin searching for summer interns at different times, but it’s best to begin sending out applications several months in advanced. Don’t wait until April or May to begin your internship search, as many roles might already be filled by then.
Use Your Network
Don’t be afraid to reach out to teachers, professors, or connections you have from extracurricular activities during your internship search. Networking is a huge part of building a career and it’s never too early to start. If you are interested in a specific internship opportunity and know someone involved, reach out to them via email to inquire about the position and see if it would be possible to meet in person to learn more. Be sure to include a copy of your resume to highlight your experience and interest in the role.
You don’t need to intern at a large company to reap the benefits of hands-on work experience. If this is the first time you are applying for an internship, consider starting small by reaching out to local businesses and organizations that are relevant to you. If you’re involved in community service, consider asking the organization you volunteer at if they are looking for interns. Alternatively, students participating in dance or music may wish to inquire about interning at their studio or a local performance space.
Treat it Like a Job
Professionalism can go a long way when it comes to setting yourself apart from other applicants. Regardless of how much experience you have had, write up a professional resume, make sure your emails are proofread and formal, and follow through on any application materials or assessments sent your way. Demonstrate early on that you will be a reliable and hard-working intern.
When you are applying for internships, be sure to emphasize your passions and goals. Most internship supervisors are looking for students who are hungry to learn and are truly considering a related career. Make sure you are applying for internships that genuinely interest you and make this clear throughout your application and resume by highlighting experiences and activities you have participated in that relate to this field.
Applying to internships can take time and hard work, but the experience can be tremendously beneficial when it comes to applying to college and future jobs. If you are looking for summer internships, our team of expert counselors can help you identify opportunities that align with your goals.