College can be an exciting time. You have the opportunity to mature as a person, develop great friendships, and start determining what you want to accomplish in your life.
As you make this determination, it is important to acquire experiences along the way that can help develop your career. One of the best ways to get this done is through an internship. If you’re looking to open the door to some great internship opportunities, here are some tips to get you started.
As with any other job, when seeking an internship, it’s important to conduct research on the companies you want to work for, as well as the responsibilities they can offer to foster your development. While working for a Fortune 500 company is good, it doesn’t help you much if you only make copies for your manager. The more you can be involved in the ins and outs of the field you want to pursue, the better.
This is why it is a good idea to research the needs of multiple companies, whether they’re currently seeking an intern or not. By learning what a company prefers, you can determine what contributions you can make. This way, in an interview, or even when making a cold call, you can entice employers with free services that may ultimately get you the experience you need to excel when your career starts.
Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews
Another part of the internship-seeking process is getting your cover letter and resume together, as well as preparing for interviews. If you’ve never done any of these things, don’t feel intimidated. This is just your opportunity to develop your skills.
To get started, you can look for resume and cover letter examples online to help with the formatting and wording of your document (be careful to only use them as guides, not templates). If you feel you are lacking the necessary experience you can list community service projects or church events. And if you don’t have those, but still have a strong desire for the position, you can utilize your cover letter to express these sentiments. Then at the interview, reiterate what’s in the cover letter.
Taking Advantage of Your Resources
The great thing about looking for internships (or any job) while attending college is that you have so many resources to turn to. One of the best is the career center, which has tons of books, CDs and DVDs, as well as counselors present to give you advice. Additionally, you can talk to your school advisor for tips on how to get started. And if you’re close to any professors in your major, they can help you with references, great insight based on personal experience, and more.
Top Internships in 2008
If you’re interested in knowing which companies are great to intern for, CollegeGrad.com created a list of the top 200 intern employers of 2008. Some of these employers include Walgreen Company, KPMG, General Electric, Ernst & Young, and Target. Within the list, you also receive access to their hiring plans.
An internship can be a wonderful preparatory experience for your career. So take the time to find the right opportunity for you. Your effort can undoubtedly lead you to your next great career move: your first job.