How to Start Planning for a Summer Internship Now
Summer internships introduce university students to their future work environment and possible career paths. They may also help to secure a post-graduate internship or job. Moreover, through a summer internship, students learn valuable skills and information and can even receive course credit for their work. Because of all the benefits they provide, the competition for summer internships is fierce. Thus, to secure one for yourself, you’ll need to stay one step ahead of the competition. Find out more about how you can plan for an internship well in advance below.
Interns are often tasked with responsibilities that may seem menial. Yet, these roles typically offer large returns in terms of experience, skill and knowledge attainment, and employer trust. Before you begin, you should prepare yourself to put in maximum effort with little to no pay — and in some cases, little recognition. Over time, however, most employers notice hardworking interns, and the reward could eventually be more responsibilities in a full-time role. Remember, the more you work, the more you learn. So, leave your complaints at the door, put your head down, stay focused, and work hard.
Preparing yourself also includes learning what employers are looking for and honing your skills. Potential interns with dynamic skill sets and relevant experience are more likely to be hired and assigned important tasks. Practicing for different types of interview situations could also give you a leg up on the competition. Study potential interview questions and practice the answers with your classmates, study buddies, academic advisor, professors, or anyone else who could provide valuable input.
Follow Your Passions
Of course, the types of internships you pursue should match your interests. If you take a summer internship that doesn’t, you’ll likely burn out quickly. Plus, you probably won’t learn valuable knowledge and skills that are relevant to your career path. To get the most from your internship, simply do what you love. Look for opportunities in the field that you want to work in — even though you might not be doing exactly what you hope to at first, you’ll still be getting hands-on experience in the industry. Ultimately, your chosen internship should forward your education and field experience.
Research Opportunities that Pique Your Interest
You can’t properly plan for a summer internship without first researching possible opportunities. To find the perfect internship, research companies and opportunities that truly interest you. Look for organizations with values that align with your own. Start this research online, searching company websites for internships that fit your interests, major, or skills. You can also search job websites, forums, and your university job board for interesting opportunities.
Since there’s so much competition, most employers start accepting applications early. Thus, you should put in applications for summer internships during the spring. This will put you ahead of the competition and push you to prepare for specific interviews and work environments. These application and preparation processes are akin to finding the best Hamilton student housing — you need to act quickly to get in on the best opportunities.
Networking may seem arduous, but it’s highly beneficial when seeking an internship. A strong contact list could help you score a prime opportunity. To start networking, ask for viable recommendations for potential employers from friends, family members, classmates, professors, coaches, co-workers, and so forth. Creating a LinkedIn profile and attracting employers to you is also a great way to network. And, keep in mind that interning can also be an effective way to network. When you intern, aim to impress the employer and acquire information for possible future opportunities.