For college students and those about to graduate, internships are of paramount importance, especially if you are in a professional course. The experience of internships stands out prominently on a fresher’s resume while looking for his or her first job. Besides that, an internship gives the student a first hand experience of what working in an industry would be like.
Thus, the importance of one or more internships for college students is quite crucial. So much that internships have become a must for all college students aspiring for good jobs. With an internship, a student gets clarity and better understanding of the field, helps one set clear career goals, and imparts the relevant experience that prospective employers would value.
However, internships are not always easy to come by. One has to exhaust and explore various ways to land an internship. Before discussing tips on how to get an internship position, let’s first define what an internship is. An internship is a small-term, pre-professional work experience for students and recent graduates that gives them an opportunity to gather experience in a particular field. Since it is like a training ground before you start your first jobs and gives you a first-hand experience of the industry and the work experience that you wish to join, an internship is the best way to prepare for your career.
All college students must try to gain at least one internship experience during their college life. Also, there should be a constant effort to get multiple internships. The best way to get an internship is to remain in touch with your college’s career services center. Get yourself registered there and submit a CV that carries details of all your skills and academics. This way, whenever an internship position comes up at the career services center, you will get to know of it and also the recruiters will be bale to see your CV and short list you if you suit their criteria. Also, these career services centers provide free advice, counseling and information about job fairs etc.
The next best place to look for internships is among your friends and family. Inform them that you are looking for an internship and what your skills are. They can pass on the word among their network and acquaintances and that may help you get an internship. Other than this, you can keep in touch with your college faculty and professors. At times, they may know of good internships and chip in a word for you. Sometimes, organizations contact them directly to identify potential interns.
Also, you can go directly to the source, which means that you can apply directly to the companies. Talk to their human resources department and see if there is a suitable internship position for you in the company. Also, you must keep your resume updated. If there is any new skill that you have acquired or any new thing that you learnt, do mention it on your CV. Or, even if you helped organized a college event, do mention it on your resume and get the required visibility. Keep practicing your interview skills and this will help in you in getting freshers job quiet easily. All employers would like to interview you before offering you any internship position. So, keep up your practice. Don’t just confine your search to your locality. Be flexible with the location even if you have to travel. If you keep looking for options nearby, you will limit your search considerably. So, look beyond your comfort zone to get a good internship position.
When you finally get an opportunity to intern in an organization, make sure you make full use of it. Exploit it to the hilt and learn new skills so that by the time you finish your internship, you have upgraded your skills. Set specific goals from the beginning itself and determine what you are looking to accomplish and achieve during the internship period. Not all internships are paid and you might be required to work for free.
However, don’t let this discourage you as the experience that you gain would be invaluable when you apply for your first job. So, be open to accepting both paid and non-paid internships. Try to identify a mentor within the organization who would groom you. Once your internship is over, send thank you letters to all those who helped you find an internship and those with whom you learnt new skills. Also, keep in touch with the key people at the organization. These might be useful when you look for your first job for freshers .