Internships – How to Find Them and How to Get One

How to find an internship is a subject of great interest to students; internships  are a great path to getting a job offer!

Internships can result in you gaining great experience as well as being a stepping stone to your first post-college job!

internship-1How do you find them? They are rarely advertised because organizations don’t need to…..employers that offer internships – paid and unpaid – are often swamped with correspondence from students seeking to work for the summer as well as referrals from friends and family.

Many colleges and universities build internships  into their curriculum and that might be a consideration when you are choosing where to go to school … or where to transfer.

What we are going to focus on here is unearthing internships that are not part of a school’s program.

There are several ways to unearth internships…and then be considered for them.

1. Ask fellow students where they and their friends have worked as interns in the past. Ask them to ask their parents where internship opportunities might be found. Ask your school guidance counselor. Have your parents ask their friends and peers the same question.

In other words, mine friends and family for leads.

2. Make a bunch of telephone calls. Call organizations in your general area of interest… with a prepared script. If you are studying accounting with an eye to be an accountant your script might be:

Hello. My name is Robb Mulberger and I am studying accounting at American University. When I graduate I will be looking for a job as a staff accountant. In the meantime I am searching for internships where I can both learn as well as contribute. Does your firm have internships?

If “Yes” then proceed to see how you would apply.

If “No” then thank them, ask if they have any leads for you and proceed to make more calls.

If you make enough calls, you WILL unearth an internship opportunity!

Paid vs Unpaid? – unless the finances absolutely don’t permit it… an unpaid internship that is meaningful is better than any of the standard summer jobs (lifeguard, camp counselor, waiter, etc.). It is much more impressive on your resume, can be a great learning experience and can often lead to getting a job offer upon graduation.

When do you begin the process of seeking an internship. Summer ones are usually locked up by Christmas… so start the process in the fall for the following summer.

For more info regarding internnships check out this University of Iowa post.

Note – when you do land an internship, you are entering the adult world. Dress for it and act accordingly!

Good luck!

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For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

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