Internships and co-ops are the perfect opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life applications. Employers like to see applicable job experience when looking to fulfill full-time, permanent positions; and internships are a great option to gain this experience while completing your college degree or certification!
Locating an Internship or Co-op
Some students are easily overwhelmed at the idea of trying to choose or locate a proper internship or co-op opportunity, but the key piece of advice you should consider is looking at companies that specifically fall in line with your college major or career choice. An internship or co-op is going to give you the perfect chance to work for a company you would like to apply for full-time employment, so consider reaching out to those specific companies that you have identified as points of interest. This is going to give you the chance to check these companies out before graduation!
Many students will unknowingly pass by a wealth of knowledge and resources located within their university. If you are having a difficult time pinpointing a company that you would like to participate in their internship program, then your university’s career planning advisors or job placement specialists will be more than willing to help! Many academic advisors and instructors are also aware of internship opportunities from their time spent in their field. If they are not aware of specific opportunities, then they typically will know a point of contact they can share with you!
Properly Market Yourself
Most people consider submitting a resume or the interview as the most critical steps when forming first impressions; but most do not realize impressions are made with every phone call, email, or any other interaction leading up to the interview. So remember to make sure you are dressed properly if you stop by the hiring manager’s office to drop off your resume, and intentionally speak well during phone calls with any individual from the company to ensure you make a good impression.
Once you schedule and begin preparing for your interview for an internship, ensure you are prepared to emphasize your collegiate accomplishments and projects in place of work experience you have not yet obtained. While hiring managers for temporary or internship positions may be understanding that you do not yet have applicable work experience, you can show preparedness by successfully tying in your accomplishments at your university to demonstrate how you will be successful in the workplace. When applicable, you should supply a portfolio of your projects or assignments, such as graphic design pieces or written articles to help the hiring manager visualize how your skills will fit in the company.
Display a Desirable Work Ethic
Since internships allow companies the perfect chance to witness your work ethic they will often treat this process similarly to how they hire a full-time employee. In return, it is crucial that you treat the internship like you are a permanent employee so that you could build good rapport for future references or receive a future permanent job offer. According to the Internship Success Guide, not being afraid to go above and beyond, or do the “simple tasks” will go a long way with your internship supervisor.
Seize Your Opportunity!
Participating in a co-op or internship could be what opens the door to obtaining your ideal career after graduating from college through networking opportunities and gaining applicable job experience. Many students unfortunately will struggle to obtain employment after graduating with their degree because they did not pursue or understand the importance of internships. However, if you take heed to the guidance in this article then you are likely to reach your full potential in your internship endeavors!