As a recent college graduate and real-world newbie, I’ve learned that it is never too soon to start applying for internships.The thought of an internship search can be an intimidating one (especially if you do not know what to look for), but fear not, I am here to guide you through it.
First, figure out what you want.
Before delving in to the process of applying, take some time to reflect. Knowing what you want, why you want it, and what your intentions are will give you clarity.
Once your mind is right, try to set some goals or standards for yourself and your future internship, whatever it might be. If you don’t know what you want or how you want to grow (both personally and professionally), things can get a little chaotic—especially when scrolling through hundreds of job listings.
I understand that it can be tough to set goals for something you’ve never done before but you many find reflecting on these prompts helpful (I did!):
Why am I applying for an internship in the first place?
Are you looking for an internship due to financial need or to gain experience in a field?
What do I hope to gain from this internship?
Set personal and professional expectations for growth.
Where would my personal strengths be most utilized?
Look for opportunities where you will thrive.
Then, check out these great resources:
One of the many luxuries of our internet-age is the ability instant access to information with a 10-second Google search. But, we all know how easy it can be to fall down the rabbit hole here—so approach with caution. A few reliable job-search sites that typically have a lot of internship postings are Indeed, Internships.com, and Glassdoor for Students.
During one of my frantic job search sessions as an undergrad, I found a gem among the countless internship advice blogs I had been rifling through. Enter: Intern Queen.
Intern Queen, a.k.a. Lauren Berger, is the most selfless #GirlBoss ever. She founded the brand in 2009 with the intention of creating a personalized resource for young adults looking for internship postings and advice. Her books All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience and Welcome to the Real World are both honest and encouraging to anyone just starting out.
Through her website, books, lectures, and social media, she provides tips and tricks to landing an internship—and (most importantly) how to keep one. Check out her 40-minute online course on how to secure a summer internship here.
Another course-style resource out there is LinkedIn Students’ Student Job Hunting Handbook series. Per its website, the three-step program teaches students and recent graduates how to kick start their career, job searching skills, and interview tips via three downloadable PDFs. Its mobile app is an easy place to get professional advice and find internship postings, too. Think of it as networking in app-form.
“Packed with insights and tips from our 400 million+ members, this series is designed to help students move into the professional world with confidence. Whether you’re in your senior year or a few semesters out, this series will give you the preparation you need to start your career.” –students.linkedin.com
Don’t forget to take advantage of the resources on your college campus, too! Whether you pop in to your school’s career center or just set up a meeting with your advisor, there are always professionals willing to help.
Cover image via IHeartYouCoffee.com