An internship is a college necessity. Whether you desire an internship to fulfill a class requirement or to search for a career after college, chances are you will need to get at least one during your college career. Searching for an internship may seem overwhelming, but it becomes much easier when you know the keys to success. Lucky for you I’ve got the keys, here are the three secrets to finding an internship.
1: The Power of Envisioning
A major problem with college students is being unsure with what industry they want to pursue. Before you charge into an internship, you should envision what you see yourself doing. What are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, what are your likes and dislikes? Answering these questions about yourself can be challenging, so to make this step easier create a chart. Envisioning will allow you to get a clear picture of what you want to pursue. Your time is precious, don’t waste it on pursuing internships you won’t enjoy. I can tell you from experience that this takes some soul searching, but the more real you are with yourself the easier this process becomes.
2: Networking is Easier as a Student
The most common method in which college students find internships are through their social networks, and the best social networks consist of relationships you build with professionals in the field you are pursuing. This seems daunting, but you would be surprised with how willing these professionals are to help students. For example, in every class presentation I’ve sat through I made a point to talk to the presenter afterwards. Every time without fail, the presenter was thrilled that a student showed enough interest in their career to ask additional questions. I’ve received business cards, LinkedIn connections, referrals to other professionals, advice, and even my first internship by simply getting to know a business professional. The moral of secret number two, don’t underestimate the power of social networks.
3: Nothing Beats Persistence but Persistence
The last secret to finding an internship is leveraging the relationship you’ve built with professionals in your field. Leveraging the relationship with professionals entails you inquiring about possible internship opportunities that they themselves have or anyone else within their network can offer. To successfully leverage, you must be persistent in expressing your interest of interning with the firm. Being persistent shows that you are motivated to obtain an internship, and it gives management the impression that you will do a good job. You may get turned down a few times, but remember that life is all about odds. If you ask ten people ten times about internship opportunities you are more likely to land one then if you ask one person one time. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there when inquiring about internship opportunities, because nothing beats persistence but persistence.