You are tirelessly searching for an internship. Anything, anyhere. As days go by and you dont hear back from anywhere, you begin to get desperate.
However, should you be desperate? An internship is the gateway to the rest of your career. Here are some pointers to look out for in an internship:
- Relevance to your Degree
An internship that’s closely related to your degree program will allow you to practice all of the concepts you’ve been studying in college. This real world experience, coupled with your campus degree, will translate into valuable knowledge and on-the-job skills that employers are looking for.
Your student advisors can help you determine if an internship is relevant to your degree. You also should ask specific questions during your interview to ascertain if the internship will offer you skills that apply to your degree.
2. Alot of experience
An internship that exposes you to a variety of departments and tasks at a company can prove invaluable as you try to assess whether you want to work in a particular field or not. The more you are able to see and experience, the more answers you will have to questions regarding where you want to work, who you want to work with, and what exactly you want to do. With that in mind, you may decide to do two, three, or more internships over the course of your college career. You may even explore interning after you’ve graduated.
3. Opportunities for Full-time Employment
An internship has the potential to turn into a full-time career opportunity after graduation – but only if there are positions available at the company where you’re interning.
To assess whether there will be career opportunities following your internship, take a look at the careers page of the company’s website to see if there are any open positions. When interviewing for the position, ask if there is an option to transition into a permanent position following your internship or if a full-time position will be available in the near future.
4. Chance of payment
Many startups either don’t hire interns at all (it’s too tough to create a process around) or bring on anyone that will work for free. Find the sweet spot. Startups that hire interns and pay them will put them to work. That means you can expect a really meaningful internship and, hopefully, unusual access to some of the high-level decisions that go into building a young company.
5. Have the opportunity to take risks
Something that many internships lack is the chance to think outside of the box and take risks. When you work for a startup you will need to take on many roles and go the extra mile to add value to the company. We need employees who recognize when things can be done in a better way, voice their opinion, come up with fresh ideas and don’t fear mistakes. These skills simply cannot be obtained from a tedious, structured internship, but rather from one that promotes creativity, risk-taking and team-building, where every voice is heard.
Hope these pointers were helpful. If you are looking for a chance to intern, at Varcity we are always looking for writers, send in your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.