Winter break has started for most Shady Grovers, and while you should definitely take plenty of time to relax during the next month of break, you should also consider taking time to search and apply for spring and summer internship opportunities! Many internship applications are due in February and March, so winter break is a great time to find opportunities and write application materials before the whirlwind of spring semester sets in.
The internships I’ve done have been some of the highlights of my college experience. It can get overwhelming sitting in classes learning about theories and ideas, wondering what career you want to pursue. Internships provide hands-on experience applying the things you learn in class to work being done in the real world.
Internships can be part-time (10 to 20 hours a week) or full-time (around 40 hours/week), unpaid or paid. Paid internships tend to have more competition and the application may require an essay or official transcripts. Unpaid internships can be rewarding too though and they can pay off in that you gain experience and make connections in the field you want to work in. Even if you’re strapped for time, you can consider volunteering once a week at an organization to get experience (you can still put this kind of experience on your resume!)
Since I’m sure your attention span has been decimated by a semester’s worth of textbook readings (mine too), I’m going to use lots of bullet points from here on out! Here are some questions you might have about internships and some hopefully helpful tips for finding and applying for them:
How do I find an internship?
- Ask your professors about opportunities they may know of or places where previous students have worked.
- Use the Career Center’s online board of local internships and jobs, the USG Career Connector.
- Search Google, LinkedIn, Internships.com, and other job sites. A Google search should help you to find some websites specific to your work field that post internship listings.
- Look at your university’s and other school’s departmental websites: individual majors and grad programs often have websites that list places where previous students have held internships.
- Make a list of organizations or companies you would love to work for and check their websites. Even if a place doesn’t have a formal internship listed, consider contacting a staff member and asking if they would be willing to have you shadow, intern, or volunteer. (I did this myself twice and was surprised at how open people were to having me work! The people are typically impressed by your initiative.)
How do I make my application materials stand out?
- Make a list of your experiences and skills – from volunteer work to student jobs to extracurricular activities to computer skills – to help you write your resume.
- Consult our Career Services Center for help writing and editing resumes, cover letters, etc. as well as running mock interviews.
- Talk to your professors along the process and ask for their insight or help tailoring your resume, etc. to your field of work.
- Double check all your application materials (and emails) for typos and have someone else look over them. (I’ve found some embarrassing typos in cover letters after I submitted them.)
Best of luck to any who are on the internship hunt! Internships can be such a cool experiences and very beneficial in figuring out what career path to take. Be sure to take advantage of USG’s Career and Internship Services Center‘s incredible array of online and on-campus resources….And happy holidays to all!