Find Your Own Internship
If your faculty or academic program does not have an internship or co-op program, you can research other opportunities through various organizations. You can also try to develop your own internship by contacting a company directly.
An internship provides the opportunity for work experience in an environment where the emphasis is on learning. You will learn new skills, gain valuable contacts and references, as well as bring your own career goals into focus. Students are realizing how these experiences enhance their education, and employers are looking for these experiences on resumes and applications.
- On-site work experience that is directly related to a career goal or field of interest
- Emphasis on learning and professional development
- Determine if you can accept a non-paid position…..earning or learning?
- Gain a competitive edge for your future job seeking, after graduation
- Sample a career path
- Develop valuable business contacts and references
- Connect with an employer who may offer you full-time work in the future
Before contacting employers about potential internships, make sure you develop a list of goals and establish what you hope to gain from doing an internship. Are you looking for an internship that provides degree-related experience, or are you exploring a different career field?
- Set Personal Goals - Spend time prior to starting an internship to set goals that you want to accomplish, whether it is learning new skills or developing your network of contacts/references. Whatever your goals, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment once you achieve them.
- Meet with Supervisor - Ask your supervisor if you can schedule regular meetings to discuss your progress, share what you have learned, and obtain feedback on how you can improve.
- Know your Organization – Take the time to learn about the organization, not just your role within the company. Get to know your colleagues and participate in company social events.
- Ask Questions - Remember that an internship is a learning opportunity. While the employer expects you to fulfill your job duties, you are not expected to know everything when you join an organization. Seek advice and ask questions of your supervisor and colleagues.
- Network - A key tool in the job search process is utilizing your network of contacts to help plan your next career step. Build professional relationships with your supervisor and other colleagues in the organization. These contacts are a good source for advice and tips from their years of experience.
- Accomplishments – A goal of an internship is to complete your work term with tangible results to build your resume and career portfolio. Were you responsible for developing promotional materials for your organization? Did you organize an event? Did you have direct contact with clients? Were you a member of a team that was assigned a task? These are the types of outcomes valued by potential employers.