Every college student comes to a point where they struggle to find a good internship. After all, what’s the point of having a degree if you have absolutely no experience to back it up? Even most entry-level jobs require a few years of experience; getting an internship is the only way to obtain that requirement.
But of course, finding an internship isn’t easy. There are so many factors, including pay, travel, hours, etc. Before all of that, you have to be considered for an internship when you have no relative experience.
Stuck in an internship-hunting rut? Here are the steps to finding a great internship without all of the added stress.
1. Start Early
If you want an internship that starts in May, you more than likely shouldn’t start searching in Late April. Get ahead of the curve and start at the beginning of the college semester, as these internship opportunities open up. It will save you a lot of stress later in the semester, as you won’t be struggling to put in half-hearted resumes for the sake of applying.
Another tip is: if you can make it work, apply for a Spring or Fall Internship, rather than a coveted summer internship. You’ll have a much better chance of being seen in the application pool, and you’ll gain the same internship experience. Most colleges even offer college credit for completing an internship during the semester, so you don’t have to worry about being bogged down with schoolwork.
2. Start Small
Unless you have an amazing connection, you probably aren’t going to obtain your dream internship at Google as a freshman in college. In case you haven’t noticed, even some internships require experience. Start small and start locally. Some small companies may be hiring interns that are relevant to your desired career. Also, you’ll have a much higher chance gaining an internship at a small company than a large one your first time around.
And don’t be worried if the small internships that you find don’t exactly match your desired career. Internships are meant to explore different workforces and see whether a specific job is right for you. Plus, you can take some of the experience you’ve gained at a small internship and apply it to your resume for a larger company.
3. Start Smart
Most colleges and universities have career centers, where you can ask for feedback on your resume and gain insight into the hiring process. Take advantage of these resources, as they won’t be there forever!
Sometimes these career centers also have access to job and internship opportunities, so make sure to ask your institution if they have any job boards available for students
4. Start Volunteering
Most people are intimidating when applying for internships because they don’t have any experience. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Have you ever volunteered, or completed a project that you’re proud of?
Most internships, especially those from smaller companies, understand that some students don’t have 3-5 years of experience. What they want to see is that you take advantage of your leisure time in school. Join a few extracurricular activities, start volunteering, or try to get a part time job. All of these are factors that can be put on a starter resume.
Have any more tips for those seeking an internship? Let us know in the comments below.