Unfortunately, according to new research by Gallup-Purdue University, just one-third of recent graduates say they had an internship or job in college that allowed them to apply the skills they learned in the classroom. Of these respondents, however, 48 percent said their internship prepared them well for life after college.
So, what does it take to find a useful, even amazing, internship? Here are some tips that will help you find a useful internship that will benefit your career:
1. Ask Your Peers and Alum for Input
The best way to find a great internship is to ask your personal connections about internship programs they enjoyed most. Find out which employers offered the most valuable experience and why each individual enjoyed the internship. This information will give you a first-hand look at the most beneficial internships in your field.
2. Scope Out Employers Before Applying
Instead of blindly applying for internships, contact employers to learn more about their internship programs. If you find an internship that fits your needs, email the employer to confirm the projects you’d be working on and the experience you’d gain. This is a great way to scope out an internship and its value before applying for the position.
3. Meet With Your Advisor or Career Counselor
Meeting with your advisor or a career counselor can lead you in the direction of finding a valuable internship. They can connect you with employers who often provide internship opportunities for students at your school and can also find out whether an internship would be beneficial for your career.
4. Use Internship Search Engines
There are a variety of internship search engines that can help you find valuable internships and connect you with opportunities that will be beneficial for your career.
Finding a valuable internship takes time, but will definitely be worth it for your career. By following these tips, you’ll be able to find an internship that allows you to apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom and build an amazing portfolio.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friend, Heather Huhman!
About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.