Let’s set the scene: you’re mid-way through studying for finals while simultaneously scheduling your weekends for the next few months. Suddenly, you realize you’ve yet to solidify that internship you’ve been talking about.
Navigate Through Your Network
Often, it’s assumed that the best place to start searching is online. While there are several great online resources for finding internships (such as Internships.com or Collegerecruiter.com), we suggest first exploring opportunities within your immediate and extended network.
At this point in the game, listings on the web are likely outdated or already filled. Larger companies post about internships several months in advance to guarantee participation.
Try leveraging your existing network. Don’t stick solely to your “inner” circle, meaning those you can easily contact yourself. This is not the time to be shy – get out of your comfort zone and ask how to get in touch with that friend of a friend. Start the conversation in order to open the door to opportunities.
Capitalize on Your College Resources
Before we move on from networking, try connecting with those individuals who were once exactly where you are now (literally). Typically, Alumni are eager and willing to lend a hand to students of their alma mater.
In addition, your campus is likely offering a ton of potential options you may be overlooking. Check out this list of college jobs that will look killer on your resume.
Utilize your campus career center and reach out to teachers or school counselors for help. Even if your internship doesn’t directly relate to the industry you’re looking to get into, it still allows you to develop transferable skills and experience for future positions.
Build or Propose Your Own
Another suggestion is to research smaller companies within a specific field you’re interested in and propose your own internship. In many cases, smaller companies don’t have the resources or budget to institute an internship program. However, maybe they’ve yet to realize the need for one. Is there a way to position yourself as an unrecognized necessity? For instance, maybe the company isn’t active on social media and in this case, you can offer support in building out their online social presence. Reach out and ask about the company’s needs and suggest ways in which you can provide value.
If you’re unable to find any last minute paid-internships, we guarantee you can find an opening to volunteer. Not only is this another great networking opportunity, but your experience will be a great talking point for future interviews. Check out a non-profit involved in something you’re passionate about. This work will look good on your resume and it’ll feel good too.
Internships are a great way to gain valuable and hands-on experience in the workforce, help continue to build your skill set, and inspire future career choices. Highly sought after by hiring managers, this proven experience provides benefit to employers as a way of solidifying confidence in your abilities.