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