Take advantage of internship opportunities around you
Internships are becoming increasingly common as part of educational programs. They're beneficial for students, who get a taste of working in the real world and an opportunity to practice the skills they're learning before heading into the job market, and they're also beneficial for employers, who get free or low-pay labor, and potentially, a good future employee.
Getting an internship isn't easy, but there are many things you can do to educate yourself on the types of internship opportunities out there and how to get them.
Types of Internships
Marketing internships, finance internships and publishing internships are just a few of the most common types, but you'll find that many industries use internships to help flesh out their work force. Outside of industry-specific, other types of internships include:
- Paid. Paid internships are the holy grail for many students, but unfortunately, they're not that common. You'll also find that many paid internships still don't pay as much as entry level positions, but the extra money can be helpful in paying student loans.
- Unpaid. Unpaid internships are more common than paid internships. Though extra income is nice, unpaid internships are a great learning experience and can help you develop industry contacts that can lead to full-time work.
- Calendar-Year. Often, schools will allot a semester or portion of a semester to be spent in an internship. During this time, students will not do regular class work.
- Summer. Some programs allow for summer internships, so students can use the academic year to focus on studies. This can also help speed completion of programs.
How to Get an Internship
If you're enrolled in an educational institution, often they will be your best resource for finding an internship. Most schools have connections in the community with companies to whom they regularly send students. Outside of this, many companies will advertise internships on their websites, in the job postings area, or try social media or an internship search tool online.
A key thing to remember is don't settle for finding one internship opportunity. Internships, especially those that are paid, are highly competitive. You may be asked to submit a resume and list of references, and you may have to go through several rounds of interviews depending on the position, so be sure you have your documents ready and spend some time practicing interviewing to give yourself the best shot.
Finally, once you've landed an internship, do your prep work. Research the company in detail and try to get a feel for what it will be like to work there and what you can bring to the table. Internships can often lead to full-time work, so it pays to put your best foot forward.
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