Guest Student Expert: 5 steps to finding a college internship during the school year

5 Steps to Finding a College Internship During the School Year
By Alexandra K. Prim, Sacred Heart University

1. Make sure you know your schedule. Before you start looking for internships during the school year, be certain of what you class schedule is and where everything will fit in for the week. Do not expect an internship to be willing to hire you for scattered hours here and there. You have to be able to offer up blocks of time to devote to a job. Only start looking if you know that you have the time and that your availability is during work hours.

2. Don’t look too far. Remember, you most likely live on campus or near it. Be wise about where you’re looking for work. Try to focus on internship opportunity in towns that border the one where you are currently living, if you cannot find anything near your residence. There are always businesses near schools that are looking for interns. One of your strengths is that you attend a college or university and are part of a fresh workforce coming out of your school. Internships will certainly want you.

3. Only take a job that will give you valuable experience. Your time is valuable and you cannot afford to spend it on an internship that doesn’t pertain to what you want to do as a career! Make sure that the internships at which you look are interesting to you and will help you in the long run. Internship experiences are there to prepare you for the future and help you—make sure that what you pick does just that.

4. Utilize your school’s resources! Chances are, your school has a great website or job search program to help you find an area internship. Always go to your office of career development and ask the counselors there to aid you in your search. You will absolutely be more successful with the help of these people. That is why they are there!

5. Remember that school is your top priority. Above everything else, you are a student. This should always come first for you. If your grades suffer because you are working too much, give them top priority. Some people simply do not have time for an internship every semester and you should focus on school before you do anything. After all, the best thing with which you can come out of college is a degree and knowledge of what you want to do. Experience is integral to you, but your grades always come first.

All of that said, happy internship hunting!

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3 Responses

  1. My suggestion: Send unsolicited resumes and cover letters.

    Also, I would suggest traveling a further distance for a better opportunity. I had to travel 35 minutes for an unpaid internship at a major museum in my town and it was worth the extra distance to decided that museum studies was not the field for me!

  2. @ Rachel – Great tips, Rachel, thanks! I agree about sending resumes and cover letters. This is an especially good strategy for reaching out to smaller companies or nonprofit organizations that might not have formal internships programs. You have nothing to lose by reaching out and seeing if they need an intern.

    – Lindsey

  3. Pingback: The 5 Steps To Sold. |

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