The winter break is a time to rest, celebrate and apply for a summer internship. Wait, what? That’s right. It’s time to start looking into internships for summer 2014. Why so early? Because most internships require you to follow a set procedure to apply and be accepted. Plus, you need time to find the best internships to apply for. Let’s get started.
Summer internship benefits
Why is an internship a good idea? There are many benefits including: valuable experience that you can put on your resume, the ability to make connections with people in your chosen profession, class credit and job offers after graduation.
The team at the Regional Internship Center (RIC) of Southwestern Pennsylvania offered insight into The Benefits of Having Internship Experience. Their list of benefits included:
- Learning about a career before you get into it: If you work in it day-to-day you’ll get to see what it’s really like.
- Learning about the company before accepting a job there: If you’re aiming for a job with a big company like Google or Disney, why not go for an internship there?
- Seeing the possibilities: A degree can lead to any number of different jobs in different fields.
“For example, if you are studying marketing, you can get into market research, strategic planning, advertising, web marketing or many other specialties within the marketing field,” they said.
Searching for internships
So how do you find the right internship? Start at your school. Check with guidance counselors and with the employment office for help and advice. If nothing else they may be able to help you polish up your resume and your interviewing skills.
Other ways to find the right internship include:
- Research companies on the web: If you want an internship with a particular company then go to its website and learn all you can about their internship program.
- Work your network: Think about using your network of contacts (including Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to help you connect with someone who can offer you an internship. Start with parents, employers, teachers, and keep on asking for introductions and referrals.
- Use the web: Check out the many websites that list internship opportunities.
- Buy an internship: If you have the cash you can buy yourself an internship. There are several websites that list internships abroad that can be had for anywhere from $3,000 on up.
Most important of all, learn about the company that you want an internship with. Alice Hurley explained why this is crucial to your success in a March 25, 2010, article for CBS Moneywatch titled, “Summer Internships: 6 Best Ways to Get One.”
“Before an internship interview, learn how to walk the employer’s walk and talk the employer’s talk. At the interview, you’ll want to look as though you’d fit in and dazzle the recruiter with your knowledge about his business and industry,” Hurley advised.
Websites to help you find internships
California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): If you want to work on projects that delve into the mysteries of the solar system, then apply for an internship at JPL near Los Angeles, California.
Federal government internships: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for the U.S. government has an internship program that helps match students with opportunities in various federal agencies. Participation can lead to a career in civil service.
USAJobs: The government website USAJobs has additional information about internships and jobs for recent graduates.
InternMatch: The InternMatch website helps students to locate an internship by company, city and category.
Dream Careers: If you have the cash, this site will help you find an internship in a major U.S. city or abroad at locations such as London, Barcelona or Hong Kong.
Poynter.org: An essential resource for anyone pursuing a career in journalism, Poynter published a list of internships in a December 6, 2013, article by Anna Li titled, “More deadlines approaching for 2014 journalism fellowships, internships.”
The White House: The White House (yes that White House) has an internship program where you can rub elbows with the president as you serve our country.
DisneyInterns: If you want to work at the happiest place on earth, check out an internship with Disney where you can work at anything from digital video to horticulture.
When applying for your internship, keep in mind the advice of Jill Geisler, senior faculty at Poynter, who said, “Give me evidence of what you can do, not a list of classes you took. What can you bring to the party that others can’t?”
What was your best internship experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.