When going into your first year of college you aren’t really stressed about internships, just stressed about making friends really. It’s just not something you need to be worrying about at that moment. However, when sophomore or junior year rolls around, you get to thinkin’, “Do I need to be looking at internships?” The answer is yes and no. Yes because you should be getting experience in as soon as possible and no because it might just not be time yet. For those of you who feel it’s time and need some advice on this internship journey of yours, stick around, you might learn something!
You may go into college pretty confident about what you want to do or you may come in knowing absolutely nothing and rely on gen eds to help you figure your life out. In times like those, don’t bother to look for an internship. You obviously won’t have any idea of what or which one to apply to! Focus maybe on finding a part-time job to put on your resume, or even better yet, join clubs! In the early semesters of college, it’s great to join clubs and organizations to get your foot in the door just a little bit, plus you can make friends! Although none of this pertains to doing an internship, it’s definitely going to help.
Make sure you’re confident in what you want to pursue.
It’s hard to be confident about what you want to pursue in the early stages of college, so that’s why you should focus on the little things like clubs and organizations. If you are getting to the time where it’s really crucial to start looking at internships, make sure you’re confident! You don’t want to be doing an internship that doesn’t have any value to what you actually want to do. For example, a person who wants to pursue a finance career wouldn’t try to get an internship at an aquarium, just like a marine biology major wouldn’t try to get an internship at a bank. If you find that other things are interesting you more than what you thought you wanted to do, you still have more time to explore clubs and organizations!
Take advantage of campus resources.
The great thing about college is all the resources! They’re free and extremely helpful. If you are having trouble figuring out what you want to do with your life, talk to your advisor! They are there for you. If there is a professor that you’re comfortable with they are great to talk to as well. Pretty much everyone is going through the same thing in college and chances are your professor and advisor also went through the same things. They seriously want to help you! The career center on your campus is also an amazing resource. They can assist you in your internship search as well as help you with your resume! If you have already been applying to internships and haven’t gotten too many hits, it could be your resume. Luckily, career centers have the experts who can help you build a beautiful resume, and give cover letter help!
Apply to as many internships as you can.
You may think you’re going a little overboard when you’re applying to hundreds of internships, but you really aren’t. You’re just increasing your chances of getting one! If there are a few internships you are unsure about, you can still apply! It’s not going to hurt you in anyway. If you get rejected it might hurt your feelings a little bit, but you still have the next year to apply! If there was an internship you were seriously wanting, but you didn’t quite make the cut, you don’t need to fret. You can really just apply to it again next year. You can also just move on and apply to all the other hundreds of internships out there. You don’t need to be scared, just go for it!
Put your resume out there in as many ways possible.
On top of applying to as many internships as you want and can, make sure you have your resume out for employers to see! You can sign up for job board sites like Indeed and LinkedIn for free. Both websites allow employers to find you and allow you to search for jobs and internships! If your college has any special job boards, you should definitely create an account. Handshake is a popular one! It doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there. These websites or here to help you, not hurt you. You could discover so many different jobs and employers can discover so many different candidates, it’s a win-win!
Maybe the internship process isn’t going so hot. You can always try out job shadowing! You may not necessarily be able to get anything for your resume, depending on how long you do it, but you can get a really good reference! Having good references is as important as anything else. If there are any local companies you’re comfortable with cold-emailing, do it! Ask if there is anyone willing to let you job shadow them. Pretty much everyone knows the struggle, we are all here to help each other out. You’ll get behind-the-scenes action in a workplace and a great new reference to give employers!
Every little thing counts.
When it comes to internships and jobs, literally every little thing counts. We gain skills from everything we do in life. If you are working at a coffee shop and are wondering how it’s going to help you get jobs and internships, it will! You’re learning how to work with a team, gaining customer service experience, as well as communication skills. All 3 of those are extremely important. Nothing you are doing is useless. Sitting on your butt is a little useless, but all the little jobs you’re doing are helping you in a multitude of ways.
Finding an internship is a task and a half. The job market is extremely competitive, which makes internships extremely important. For being such an important thing, they sure are difficult to find and get. Fortunately, there are so many resources to help you. Take advantage of everything you can and don’t underestimate yourself!