Internships are becoming valuable resources for students and recent graduates, however securing the right internship might seem challenging. But with the right strategies, you can discover internships that align with your career aspirations. In this guide, we’ll explore the best ways to look for internships that suit your goals and set you on the path to professional success.
What is an Internship?
An internship is an educational program that provides a valuable opportunity for students to gain practical, hands-on experience in their chosen field of study or career path. This professional learning experience allows them to explore potential careers and develop new skills that can benefit their future endeavors.
Types of Internships
Below are the two main types of internships available to students:
- Paid Internships: A paid internship for students is an internship program where the intern receives monetary compensation for their efforts and contributions. These work experience opportunities take place during a student’s second or third year of education. The purpose of this type of internship is to enhance an intern’s understanding not only in their academic studies but also within the organization they are interning.
- Unpaid Internship: This is an internship program where interns will not be offered monetary compensation for their contribution. This type of internship is commonly offered by non-profit organizations and research institutes, often in the form of volunteer positions.
Best Ways to Look for Internships – 12 Easy Steps
Below are practical steps to secure an internship as a student.
1. Determine Internship Type
When looking for an internship opportunity, it is important to have a clear idea of the type of experience you are looking for. If you already have a desired job position in mind, focus on finding an internship within that particular industry. This will allow you to gain practical skills and knowledge specific to your chosen role.
On the other hand, if you are still uncertain about what career path suits you best, broaden your horizons by exploring various types of internships that can expose you to diverse fields and potential interests.
2. Outline Internship Expectations
Explore potential research opportunities and develop a set of criteria to identify an internship that aligns with your specific needs. For instance, if you are not able to commit to a full-time position, you could search for options that offer part-time schedules.
Additionally, consider the objectives and requirements of various programs as well as the tasks involved in each role. You should also evaluate whether the work is intellectually stimulating and assess its potential for personal development within the organization.
3. Create an Application Spreadsheet
An effective method for staying organized while applying to different internships is by creating a spreadsheet or file that includes the application links, requirements, and deadlines for each opportunity. This will allow you to easily keep track of your applications and monitor any updates such as interview invitations, rejections, or job offers.
In addition to helping with current applications, this system can also serve as a useful resource when searching for future internships.
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4. Reach Out to Peers
An effective way to search for an internship is by seeking advice from friends or peers who have successfully secured internships to gain valuable insights and leads for your search. They can share their most effective tactics, preferred websites, and potential openings at the companies they are interning with.
Check out this comprehensive guide on how to get an internship at Zomato India.
5. Send an Early Application
One of the best ways to look for an internship is by applying on time. This can help increase your chances of securing an internship. It is important to begin searching and applying as early as possible.
Knowing what type of internship you are looking for and when you will be available can help streamline the process. It should also be noted that certain industries or programs may have specific application deadlines in place.
6. Email Companies
Sending emails to companies even without them posting openings is one of the best ways to look for internships. Once you have identified your desired companies, make sure to check if they offer an internship program and research the application process. Reach out via email to the department of your interest with a copy of your resume and express why you are interested in interning for their team.
7. Search Online
The Internet offers a wealth of resources to aid in your search. Numerous platforms such as Slack communities, Discord servers, and online communities have dedicated channels for sharing available positions, reviewing resumes, promoting recruitment events, and networking opportunities.
Further, you can easily find internships for freshers on job search portals. By simply signing up and uploading your resume, you can quickly access hundreds of internship opportunities based on your preference.
8. Use Social Media
To stay updated on potential internship opportunities in your field, it is important to follow companies that have a social media presence. This allows you to easily access any postings they may make about available internships and their application process.
9. Attend Career Expo
Attending job or internship fairs/expos in your local area is one of the best ways to get an internship, it is a valuable method for discovering potential opportunities and connecting with prospective employers. It can be beneficial to bring multiple copies of your resume when you attend the career expo.
You can also apply for jobs for freshers if you wish to start your professional career.
10. Reach Out to Professors
This is one of the best ways to get an internship. Seeking guidance from a professor can be beneficial if you are looking for internships related to your academic interests but are unsure of where to start. Professors are eager to assist their students in discovering new learning opportunities and frequently have connections within certain industries that can lead them toward suitable positions.
Even if they do not personally know anyone at a company, they may still offer valuable insights on relevant programs or companies that align with your goals, and potentially even provide research opportunities themselves.
11. Source Via Local Career Center
As a college student, you may want to consider reaching out to your school’s career center for potential internship opportunities. Many schools have connections with companies and alumni that can assist students in finding mentors, internships, and networking contacts within their desired industries. Additionally, local career centers are also available as resources if you are no longer enrolled as a student.
One of the best ways to look for internships at a desired company is through networking. By actively building and maintaining professional relationships, you may be able to discover suitable internship options, especially if someone in your network can offer a recommendation or connection.
These were the best ways to look for internships. By effectively following and applying the strategies outlined in this guide, you can enhance your internship search and discover opportunities that align with your goals. Also, engaging with online communities and staying open to various avenues of exploration are essential.
Have you ever interned at a company before? Share your internship journey with us in the comment section below. Also, take a look at how to get an internship at Deloitte India.