By Yeovanna Sandoval
Many students struggle to find an internship, especially if this is their first time looking for an internship or a job.There are so many resources out there to help, but most people don’t know where to start. Follow this five step guide to start your journey. We all have to start somewhere!
Let’s start by doing some research! Most universities tend to have a career development center where students can access career counseling, connections and professional opportunities. Another tool to utilize would be your city’s website. See if they are seeking anyone for a learning or paid internship that matches the career you want to go into, of course. If the website lacks information, make a call and talk to someone in the department who will be able to direct you to more information. Don’t be timid; ask questions. If they are not looking for anyone at the moment, then ask if they know about any other programs or other cities that have internships open. Doing your research will give you more information about what employers are looking for, not to mention, it will give you background knowledge for future career changes.
Okay you’ve done the research; you’re on your way! If you’ve found something that sparks your interest, it’s time to network. Social media is great networking. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, follow the company’s page to get a better understanding of the company’s mission and values. You can also start to connect – via LinkedIn, of course – to other employees of the company. Once you’ve started an online network, it’s time to make it personal. From your online networking, you see that the company you’re interested in is hosting an event. This will be the opportunity to go out and get in-person connections. Talk to people that can share insight with you. Show that you’re interested in them and share what you know about their work. Once they see their applicants, they will put a face to your application because they already know who you are. Now you aren’t just a piece paper, you are a real person!
3. Take & Make
You’ve passed the interview, and you’ve finally made it. Take a breather. Now it’s time to work. From your first day on the job and throughout the time you’re there, you need to show your good work ethic. Being reliable, dependable and working well with others and independently are all important to showcase. Prove to them that they made the right choice in hiring you for the internship. Create great work relationships, build your communication skills, take initiative and be yourself.
4. Decision Making
It’s been a few months and you’ve managed to keep your internship bosses happy. This is the time when your employer could make your internship into a permanent job with them. Your internship experience has been great, now you need to decide if you want to gain more experience in another work place or continue your experience with a permanent permanent position here. Which one is it? I think many people will really consider the pay at this moment, but also consider what this internship has taught you through your time there.
5. Get the Job
Whether it’s taking the offer or moving somewhere else with the experience, you’ve learned how to maintain an internship with through research, networking, taking and making the best of it, deciding what to do next, and now receiving a full-time job. If you do decide to move, you can always return to the first step, ‘research,’ and go back to your previous sources and networks including all the other sources you’ve received through this internship. Whatever you decide, all the hard work was worth it!
Through the journey of completing an internship, students learn and gain so much. You’re not the same person you were when you first started; as a matter of fact, you’re a better version of yourself. As we learn through the small experiences, in this case an internship, we fortunately receive something greater at the end. It just takes a lot of steps, time and patience!
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