How to Find a Paid Internship This Summer
Internships help you discover where you think you have the potential to fit in the best. As long as you research and apply yourself, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a paid internship this summer.
Paid Internships Over Summer Break
Paid internships represent a great opportunity to develop new skills, get real-world work experience and make some money. With the spring term underway, the application period for summer internships is quickly approaching. Learn steps college students and grads can take to secure a paid summer internship.
Consider Your Goals
When it comes to securing a paid summer internship, planning is key. You'll want to lay the necessary groundwork to increase your chance of securing the right opportunity. Your first step should be to think about what kind of abilities you'd like to develop during an internship. Ideally these will be the same skills that will help you succeed in a profession you're considering. For instance, if you're a business major interested in working in high finance you may want to target internships in large banks or investment firms.
Even if you are somewhat uncertain about your ultimate career goals, you can make an informed plan for internships. You might look for positions that allow you to develop abilities that can be helpful in many different disciplines. For example, communication, organization and time management skills can be useful in many industries. You'll also want to consider additional factors that might influence your decision. For example, must the position allow you to earn academic credit? Do you want to travel abroad during an internship? Are you interested in working for a business or a nonprofit organization?
Research Your Opportunities
The next step in securing a paid summer internship is to look for opportunities that meet your expectations. Check for postings at your institution's career services center. Ask professors, fellow students and others at your school whether they're aware of internship opportunities that fit your criteria. Tell people in professional, alumni or student organizations you're associated with what you're looking for. Also check in with friends, family members, family friends and others in your social circle. Your chances of securing an internship increase dramatically if you have a connection in a company or organization.
In your search, exhaust every resource available to you. That includes online internship databases, job fairs and classified ads. Visit general job and internship-listing websites like Craigslist, as well as blogs and online journals that advertise opportunities within specific disciplines. Don't be afraid to also contact employers directly to ask if internships are available. Some areas with the most paid summer internships are banking, communications, accounting, government and information technology.
Apply for Internships
When you've identified appropriate positions you can begin applying for internships. During this phase you'll want to heed all of the advice you might follow during a regular job search. Make sure your resume is current and orderly, and have compelling references who'll attest to your ability. Craft your resume and cover letter for each position you apply to, demonstrating that you've read up on an organization and know what they do. Application deadlines for paid summer internships are just around the corner, and there is no better time to be doing this preparatory work.
When your internship applications yield interviews you'll want to make sure you're prepared. Perform additional research on the organizations that are considering bringing you on for the summer. During the interview process ask intelligent questions about the organization's work, what your responsibilities will be and the people you'll be working with. If you feel you're a fit for a position, express confidence that you'll be able to complete the expected duties.
Given the competition for paid summer internships, you may want to remain flexible about what opportunities you're willing to consider. Even if a company or organization that offers you a position isn't your first choice you may want to think hard about what an experience can provide. If it happens that your most desirable option passes you over, you can still have a great internship experience elsewhere.
Learn about the pros and cons of virtual internships.