Posted tagged ‘finding an internship’

Q. Are there internships available during the school year?

July 23, 2010

A. Yes, lots of them in lots of different places. And since many students only take summer internships, you may have a better chance of getting an internship during the school year. The good news is that more and more companies want to keep interns coming all year-round. After the company educates an intern supervisor and sets up a working program, it makes good sense to maintain the routine—and capitalize on the extra help—365 days a year. Here are some of your options: 

  • Start with your own school, especially if you live on campus. Begin at the career center, asking the staff about on-campus internships. Or visit the different departments, such as your major department, in which you’d like to intern, present your resume, and ask about openings.
  • Next, scout out the surrounding companies that are geographically within reach by public transportation or car. Again, check in with your career center about local internships and make application. You may want to request an information interview with a company about internships in order to get your foot in the door.
  • Look into a virtual internship (Check out these great virtual opportunities!), which allows students to sample different fields or concentrate on a niche industry while still going to classes and working. The most common ones are in information technology, software development, research, sales, marketing, blogging, and social media. If you’re a self-reliant, self-starter who is comfortable with Web conferences, emails, and phone calls, a virtual internship during the school year might work well for you.
  • Create your own internship by networking with other students, faculty, and staff professionals at your school to discover any potential internship sites. Many companies that have never had professional internship programs are interested in setting them up. If you locate a local company in which you’d like to intern during the school year, but it has no established program, suggest that your school help the company initiate a good program. 
  • Explore the opportunity of an internship during the school year in a company in a different locale. If it’s a full-time internship with academic credit, you may want to talk with your academic advisors about rearranging your classes or going to school an extra semester in order to take advantage of a great internship. Keep an open mind, and the right internship during the school year will be yours.

For an intern’s perspective on doing an internship during the school year, check out the new Eye of the Intern blog, “Tracey’s Angle: Is a school-year internship worth it?“.

Q. I didn’t find a summer internship. Is it too early to look for a fall one?

June 25, 2010

A. Absolutely not, especially if you want to get a really good one. There are lots of resources on internships.com to help you get started. If you don’t know exactly what kind of internship you want, the Internship Predictor can help you out. Or the Company Directory can help you identify companies and people that you want to reach. For good measure, you could complete the Intern Certification Program. And check out the Intern Tool Kit for other resources. Here are a few more tips:

  1. Lay out your fall schedule. Decide how many hours you want to put into a fall internship and where you want to do your internship. You may be limited by class hours and location. If you have transportation issues, you could consider taking an internship on campus in a department that is relevant to your career interests.
  2. Review your resume and cover letter, making sure that you have updated your resume with any summer accomplishments, including jobs, volunteer work, sport achievements, travel, or new skills, such as foreign languages. Internships.com will help you decide if a video resume is appropriate for you. Write a basic cover letter that you can customize for every application.
  3. Visit your Career Center for advice. These professionals work with companies and help you get interviews with the proper personnel. Companies usually offer internship opportunities year-round to a school. Discuss the many new options that are available to you, thanks to technology. The online internship often works well for a fall internship because you can work at your own convenience.
  4. Network. Talk to other students, friends, and family members about your plans for a fall internship and ask them for suggestions. The best way to evaluate an internship is to talk to a student who has just completed it.
  5. Tracey’s Angle. Check out the newest Eye of the Intern blog by internships.com intern, Tracey. She has some great tips for finding a fall internship.

Q. I can’t do a summer internship because I have family obligations. What should I do?

April 30, 2010

A. I admire your priorities. Don’t worry, there are lots of internships offered on a part-time basis throughout the year.  

  1. Explore opportunities if you have a part-time job during the school year. Ask your employer about internship opportunities at work. You may be able to move to a different department or assume more responsibilities that advance your skills. You may also be surprised to find that you can receive internship credit for your current job.  
  2. Check into campus internships. Many departments, such as Human Resources, Communications, Alumni Affairs, and Admissions, use interns throughout the year. Your own major department may employ interns to assist professors or work on special projects, which would advance your own knowledge and increase networking opportunities.
  3.  Sign up for a full-time, month-long internship—called  the January term—during  the winter break if your school offers such a program. Since many schools close for nearly a month at the holidays, it’s become an opportune time to arrange internships for students who can’t do summer, fall, or spring internships.
  4. Keep in mind that it’s not too early to apply for a fall internship. Most companies appreciate a 3-month or longer lead. Be the first to apply and get your internship lined up. Companies that offer a variety of internship opportunities—fall, spring, or summer—tend to be flexible in hours and schedules.

P.S. Here are a few part-time fall and spring internships that might work for you:

Going to school in San Francisco? Try the deYoung Art Center.

Chicago? Get in touch with CBS 2.

In Washington, DC? Apply to the US Dept. of Justice—Community Relations Service.

Want a January term internship? Go to the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership in New York City.

Any readers have experience in non-summer internships? We love comments!

Q. Is it too late for me to get a summer internship?

April 23, 2010

A. Absolutely not! The official first day of summer isn’t until June 21, so don’t panic. There are still lots of opportunities for you to invest in your future through an internship. In fact, you may even have more choices now than back in the early spring. Also, your summer plans have probably taken shape, giving you an accurate view of how much time you can dedicate to an internship. Here’s how to find the right one:

  1. Check the new listings on internships.com. Thousands of internships have been added over the spring, and hundreds are added every week. There are two ways you can sort through these postings—by company or by interest area.
  2. First, consider which companies appeal to you the most when you review the new listings. The internship may not be your first choice in terms of responsibilities, but at least you get inside a desirable company and can network for future opportunities. Second, explore the postings by interest area related to your major, for example, Accounting or Biology. The size or type of company may be secondary to your interest in getting an internship in your chosen field.
  3. Stop by the Career Center at your school and ask about new openings for summer internships. Schools frequently get last-minute requests, especially from local companies that prefer to work through your Career Center. If you live near the school or are staying on campus to take summer classes, you may be able to fit an internship into your schedule. An internship near your school can also be helpful because you may be able to turn that summer internship into a year-round opportunity.
  4. Create your own internship using the resources that you’ve learned from the tools on internships.com. Research the city or town where you’ll be living this summer and make a list of the companies in which you’d like to have an internship. Many small and mid-size companies don’t have formal internship programs but would value your skills and welcome you as an intern. Find out the name of the Human Resources director and send a cover letter and resume, or stop by to make an appointment. Local companies like to work with local residents.
  5. Talk to your friends and classmates about their summer internships. You may find that a few of them are unable to fulfill their internship obligations because of unexpected changes in summer plans. Perhaps you could take on the internship instead, so the company wouldn’t be left without an intern at the last moment. Or if one of your friends can’t dedicate 40 hours a week to an internship, you might suggest that you do internship-sharing—two interns handling one position. You may even end up with more than one option for a summer internship!

Q. How does the green evolution in business affect internships?

April 22, 2010

A.   The great green wave is still cresting. Unconvinced? Check out the thousands of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day today, April 22nd. Still unsure? Flip through college catalogs and view the new eco-offerings in environmental studies. Need more proof? Talk to a car dealer about the new Chevrolet Volt, an electric car. Energy and sustainability issues abound in the business world. Internships.com offers lots of choices to experience the green future. Here’s a sample: 

  1. Greenavise, Silver Spring, MD:  A consulting business helping business and property owners operate in a sustainable manner wants 2 unpaid, full-time interns (college credit available). Duties include: research energy efficient products and develop sales and partnership leads, work on blog, twitter accounts and a newsletter.
  2. Tri-State Biodiesel, LLC:  Offers 2 part-time, unpaid (college credit available) internships to talk with local restaurants about their oil usage/disposal and other environmental issues. You’ll maintain restaurant database, call on customers, participate in promotions, perform office work, and do research.
  3. Center for a New American Dream, Virtual location:  Interns work with individuals, communities, and institutions to establish sustainable practices that will ensure a healthy planet for future generations. Must ascribe to “More Fun, Less Stuff” philosophy. Unpaid internship with college credit.
  4. Sustainable Living Systems, Missoula, MT:  Enjoy a full-time, paid internship with a non-profit organization that was formed to demonstrate and teach a way of living where respect and care of Mother Earth and care of people are the focus.
  5. Gorman Heritage Farm, Fairborn, OH:  Interested in sustainable agriculture? Sign up for an unpaid internship exploring and learning the history, methods and values of a working family farm in a natural setting. Must be able to work in all weather conditions and be interested in sustainable agriculture.
  6. The Green Mountain Club, Manchester, NH:  Seeks several interns for positions in Outdoor Leadership, Environmental Education, Backcountry Caretaking, and Trail Construction. Unpaid, but college credit available.
  7. Wagbo Peace Center, Lansing, MI:  Offers paid internships in sustainable agriculture. Farming experience is helpful but not required. Should have good communications skills, physical strength, and ability to work at production level.

Q. How can I improve my chances of getting a response when I send my resume to a company?

April 12, 2010

A.  How frustrating to send your resume for an internship and never receive any response—not even an acknowledgement that it was received? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Too many Human Resources (HR) departments have been downsized recently, and the remaining employees are burdened with more work than they can manage. They often receive hundreds of resumes for one internship position, which means the numbers are too overwhelming to send rejection notices. Here’s how to stimulate a response:

  1. Send your resume to the head of the department that is looking for an intern, as well as to the HR person. It’s always easier for a resume to travel down the employment chain rather than up. If you’ve read about some company executive who has received an honor or achieved a specific success, you could send your resume and a cover letter noting that person’s accomplishment and your desire to have an internship in such a fine organization.
  2. Write a cover letter with your resume, stating that you will be calling that person to find out the next step in the internship process rather than waiting for a phone call. Being proactive shows respect for a busy person and demonstrates your enthusiasm for the internship. Then proceed to make your call a few days after you send your resume.
  3. Ensure that your resume contains key words that relate to the internship description. If the prospective company scans resumes for key words, you want to be sure that your resume has them all. Study the wording in the requirements and internship description listed in the posting and use as many of them as possible in your resume and cover letter.
  4. Follow-up. Make a phone call or send an email to the HR department and the department head, asking if your resume was received. Always restate your interest in the internship. You may want to ask a professor or career center to follow-up for you, too.
  5. Apply for multiple internships rather than only one, giving yourself options in case the internship you really want doesn’t materialize. If a company doesn’t bother to respond at all, it may not be the best environment for you to do an internship.

P.S.  If you’ve had success getting a response regarding your resume, please share your secrets. Thanks!

Q. How do I decide what kind of internship I want?

April 6, 2010

A. First, complete the Internship Predictor,™ a professional tool designed to assess what kind of internship is best for you. This easy-to-use assessment asks you to respond quickly, ranking word choices and phrases that describe you. If you’re still unsure of what internship path to follow, you might want to supplement the Internship Predictor results with an informal and thoughtful self-examination of your interests. Since no one knows you as well as you know yourself, take some time to examine your personal choices. Ask yourself the following questions to help sort out what kind of internship you would most enjoy:

  1. What TV shows do I enjoy the most?  Do you watch legal shows, such as “Judge Judy” or “Law and Order”? You could try a legal internship. Have you already marked your calendar to watch the new “Miami Medical” show? Then perhaps you would enjoy an internship in a healthcare or hospital setting.  A cooking channel fan? Why not try a restaurant or food-related internship? Like the Discovery Channel? Be a nature or science intern.
  2. What are my favorite movies? If you liked “Avatar,” why not go for an internship in the entertainment field? If you liked the “Ghost Writer,” try an internship in a political setting. The Blind Side? Consider a sports, social service or nonprofit internship.
  3. What books do I read?  If you read The Big Short, check out banking or Wall Street internships. Stones into Schools or Three Cups of Tea? A nonprofit or educational organization may interest you. If you liked the nonfiction book Rework, you may want a small business over a large corporation. Prefer reading books set in New York City? Then, scope out New York City internships.
  4. What types of groups do I belong to? If you belong to lots of team-oriented groups, you may like an internship in which you’re a member of a large team. Do you belong to multiple groups and sign up for committees? You’re probably an excellent multitasker and would be successful at an internship with many different duties. For example, in a small company that takes only one intern, you may assist the president, the bookkeeper, and the customer service manager.  
  5. Do I have specific political views?  Do you have strong political views?  If so, you might want to evaluate what type of company would work best for you. Some companies may be the wrong fit and you might not like the corporate culture. Look for an internship site that’s compatible with your views. To find out more about a particular company, monitor the news or Google the company.
  6. What internships do my friends think would be good for me? Friends often see attributes or talents that we can’t see in ourselves. Ask a few good friends to list your skills and offer suggestions on what kind of internship experience they think would work for you. For more insight, ask them to explain their answers.

P.S. Now that you have the Internship Predictor results and a clear personal profile, compare the two sets of information. Make a list of the compatible traits. You may find some overlap, indicating a strong internship direction. Do any areas contradict each other? Which is the real you? Consider taking the Internship Predictor assessment a second time and see if the results have been influenced by your personal profile. Now you’re ready to move forward in to a kind of internship in which you would experience both success and enjoyment.


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