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Internships 101: What You Need to Know

Job experience is important, and recent graduates/entry-level candidates are expected to have some relevant experience on their resumes before applying for paid, full-time positions. Many times, this experience can be gained in the form of an internship. But, how do you find oneFinding the right internship opportunity takes patience, persistence and preparation. 

For-Credit Internships

If you are seeking an internship for class credit:

Not-For-Credit Internships:

Students may consider additional internship experiences that do not receive academic credit, and they can be easier to find than one might think if you're truly willing to do the work.

REDConnect

The first place to look is our free e-recruiting network, REDConnectwhere employers post internship opportunities for our Southeast students:

 

Use Your Existing Contacts To Network, Network, Network

Talk to your instructors, peers in your program, friends, family friends, and anyone willing to hang out long enough to listen to you talk about your career aspirations. (Yes, BE persistent!) We are all connected in one way or another, and you never know who might have a contact within your career field of choice.

Use Online Resources To Find An Internship

Many organizations list their intern needs on their websites and social media sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. 

  • Make a list of companies in the field you might want to work for some day, and then visit their pages every few weeks. If you don’t see anything listed, you can also contact their recruiting contact or HR department to inquire personally about the possibility of interning for their company (be prepared to hear "no"...persistance, persistance, persistance! It only takes ONE yes.) Some companies may not have a formal internship program, but would be willing to add a few interns to supplement their full-time staff.
  • There are a number of online job boards that cater to internships. (Example: www.internships.com, www.youtern.com, etc) It’s worth looking at these sites to get ideas of which companies are hiring multiple interns and in which geographic locations.
  • Follow the blogs of professionals in the industry you are wanting to get into. Often, these lead to insider information regarding the best companies to work for, where NOT to work, and companies to get on your radar for future internship searches.

Create-Your-Own-Internship: Be Ready To Sell Yourself

In some cases, organizations may need to be "sold" on the idea of having an intern because they've never had one before and will need to be convinced of the benefits. Prepare a "pitch" for why the organization/company should take you on as an intern and what value you could bring. (This may include cutting edge skills that you’ve learned in your classes, inexpensive or free labor and a variety of other knowledge, skills, and abilities.) 

Be Flexible

Some of the best internships might be offered in cities and even other countries. Some internships are paid, others are not. If you’re in a position to travel for a summer or work for free (or a reduced rate), you may be more attractive to a prospective employer. Plus, if an internship goes well, you get the benefit of listing it on your resume and using your manager as a reference. The monetary value of that can’t easily be calculated, but it’s probably more than a paycheck or two. There’s always a chance that a legitimate unpaid internship for a reputable organization could lead to a future paid internship, part-time job or even a full-time opportunity in the future.

Contact Career Services to schedule an appointment with a professional staff member to assist you with your preparation and search. 573-651-2583.

Attend Career Services Events:

Throughout the year Career Services hosts a variety of outreach events with tips, tricks and techniques to connect you with resources to assist your search. Be sure to attend the Career & Internship Fair, scheduled each spring semester. This is YOUR opportunity to meet employers and discover internship opportunities.

For additional information on internships, please contact Joyce Hunter in Career Services at 573-651-2583.

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