How to get an internship

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How to get an internship

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After four years of school, most of us are going to come out looking for a job, and employers want you to have experience. You could volunteer at a shelter or clinic every other Friday to learn some soft skills and count them as experience, or you can get an internship. But we all know that internships, especially paid ones, are hard to find. Here’s how to make the search easier.

1. Let EVERYONE know you are interested in an internship

It’s not about what you know, but about who you know. Finding an internship is like a full-time job. So if you’re actively pursuing an internship, you never know who might need an intern. Tell your friends, family, post on Facebook and other social mediums.

2. Make a list of your dream internships

An internship is very similar to a job interview, and as they say in job interviews, you’re also interviewing them to see if you’re a good fit. What do you want to gain out of an internship? What skills do you have right now that you would like to improve, or what do you want to learn from the internship?

Once you have your goals set up, it may be easier for you to identify your dream internship. Write them down on a paper or in an Excel sheet for memories.

What if you don’t exactly know what you’re interested in? What if you want to work for a nonprofit, but also want to be reimbursed for your internship? Stephanie Swanger, a career adviser at Mercer, said students can come by the Career Services office on the top floor of Connell Student Center for advice.

“Come to our office, (and) make an appointment with a career consultant,” she said. “You’ll be using our expertise, and our brains to (help you) pick opportunities.”

3. Make your own opportunities

Another good reason to have your own list of internships is so that you can reach out to the company and ask them if they need an intern. Some places do not openly advertise their internships or are just bad at advertising them.

So go on Linkedin, find someone that works at the company, shoot them an email and ask if they are looking for interns. Sometimes you can’t wait for opportunities, you’ve got to go out there and make them happen yourself.

“There are a lot of companies that don’t advertise but if you are a student who is a go-getter, approach those companies and ask about those opportunities,” Swanger said.

4. Show Up

Sometimes, showing up is the main battle. Are you showing up on LinkedIn? Handshake? Even in your daily email?

Clarissa Cole, a public health senior, found her latest internship by showing up in her inbox.

“The second internship I had (was) with the North Central Health District. I didn’t really find this one on my own. I had heard about positive experiences from other students in my major that interned there and my advisor sent a mass email saying they were accepting applications. I found what specific department I was interested interning for and applied,” Cole said.

When looking for an internship, make sure you’re using all your resources. Friends, family, professors, Handshake, Career Builder and of course the Career Services office.

“If a student ever has a question, come to our office. We can walk through to make sure [an internship] is a beneficial experience,” Swanger said.

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