While you’re relaxing, visiting with family and friends and giving holiday gifts… consider giving yourself a gift… and internship!
You may have read the statistics showing how internships provide a huge advantage in your career development – which is especially important in our challenging economy. It’s also true that getting an internship is often stressful, and you may not know exactly where to begin.
Well, we want you to relax during your holidays – not stress out! So, here’s some simple advice on how and where to find a great internship for you…
- First, determine what type of internship you want – be career specific!
- Think about how you want this internship to help you (Personal branding? Networking? Developing specific skills?)
- Figure the hours per week you can dedicate to an internship (10, 20, 30 hours)?
- Consider whether you’d prefer to work in-office, or virtually
- Decide which size company fits your personality best: Large corporation? Start-up? Non-profit?
- Do your research; find the company and culture that fits your goals best
- Eliminate any company that thinks interns are slave labor go-fers
- Consider the paid vs. unpaid issue: is the experience worth the lack of compensation?
- Set your expectations for employment after the internship: do I want this to lead to a job?
- Begin networking! Get yourself out there – both online and offline
From here, the search for the right internship is much like finding a job. Commitment, hustle, passion and professionalism all come into play. So does knowing where to look!
- If you’re still in school run, don’t walk, to your career center – they should have some of the best advice available for internships in your area
- Join the incredibly helpful career-oriented chats on Twitter: #jobhuntchat, #careerchat, #genychat, and #HFChat
- Join internship related groups on LinkedIn. (You’ve already completed your LinkedIn profile, right?)
- Communicate with existing mentors and champions (professors, former managers and industry experts, for example) – and communicate your goal for obtaining an internship before Christmas
- Search online for genuine internship opportunities and advice, starting with YouTern and ComeRecommended
Follow these simple yet powerful tips, and with a little perseverance and elbow grease you’ll have an internship all wrapped up soon!
About the Author: A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, CEO and Founder of YouTern Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.