“I just know there’s a hole in my life and I need to fill it soon.” Those are the words of fictional character Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) in the 2015 movie “The Intern.” Ben eventually finds a fulfilling position. And so can you. Here are five tips to finding the most rewarding internships.
Your career center is a great place to start in your search for an internship. Start your search early in order to get a jump on your competition. For instance, for a summer internship, you might want to start in February or maybe earlier. Most college career centers will help would-be interns beef up their resumes, teach them job search skills, show them how to dress for interviews, and even give them a chance to practice interviewing.
Writing the perfect resume and buying a killer interview suit won’t get you the job. You’ve got to get out there and network. It’s unfortunate that networking puts great fear in the heart of most aspiring interns. Simply put networking is telling the people you know that you are available for internships in your specific field of specialty. The more people you can let know you are looking for an internship the better whether it is in person or online on a business-oriented social media site like LinkedIn.com.
Juniors and seniors in your major are also a great source of leads. They can point you toward companies that they’ve worked for or maybe even the companies to avoid. Draw on their experience to hone your job search skills. Ask them to introduce you to key individuals in their network who are interested in the same fields as you. The student community is a good place for you to do this.
Your search for a rewarding internship may involve doing something you’ve never done before like volunteering in a leadership role in a student organization. Volunteer for opportunities that have the most potential to help you get experience that will increase your value as an intern for your target company.
Landing that rewarding internship may take time but persistence is key. Start at least four months before you need the job. Remember, internships come in all shapes and sizes and some you can even use for class credit. In the end you might discover like our fictional intern, Ben, did—your internship opens up so many new doors.
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