Internships can be a great opportunity to gain real work experiences in an area of interest, or to get real life experience in new work environments.
Organizations hosting the student often try to meet specific learning goals and develop career skills. Internships vary greatly in length of time and can be paid or unpaid.
Value Of Interning
Students who intern have the chance to gain a more accurate picture of a career, make contacts with people in their field of interest, build confidence and show future employers that you have experience.
Define Your Internship
The first step in the process is to identify your goals. Think about the type of work environment and career field you want to explore, as well as the skills you have to bring to the internship.
The next step is planning. Applying for an internship requires meeting an application deadline, preparing a resume and writing a cover letter. Searching and applying for a summer internship should begin in the fall of the previous year.
Housing, geography and finances need to be considered while contemplating an internship. How are you going to support yourself while interning? Living at home or with friends or relatives could save money. If you choose to be in a new city or abroad, you can find rooms on websites such as craigslist.com.
Washington, D.C. and New York City have intern student housing options. In general, a minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for most positions, and a 3.5 or above is often required for more high profile positions, such as media organizations and government departments. You must have social and organizational skills that are suitable for the work environment, as well as the ability to take part in an interview over the phone or in person.
Guidelines For A Successful Internship
- Before you begin your internship, you should create a folder to save important internship information. In the folder should be your dates of the program, the days and hours per week you will be working, tax information and required identification. You can also use the folder to store work-related documents and your internship journal.
- Ask your internship coordinator about the dress code, your work space and rules about time off for a personal or family event.
- Employers like interns that are enthusiastic, take initiative and are team players.
- Interns should meet with their supervisors to go over their goals and ask for regular feedback on their progress.
- Get to know others in the organization who may become mentors or a sources of support. A good internship should also serve as a network of future contacts.