College InternshipsGo Back To Guides
While college is meant to give you the intellectual background to get you started in a particular career, it usually doesn't give you the hands-on experience needed to actually get a job. That crucial experience is available through an internship, which exposes you to having a boss, responsibilities and deadlines, attending meetings, and interaction with co-workers, not to mention knowledgeable people who can offer you further advice and guidance in your career.
Internships sometimes come with a paycheck, and are sometimes voluntary work for the experience. So if you need the extra spending cash, you might want to consider a paying internship, since it will be absorbing the time you would need to hold down a part-time job. Even so, depending on your major, available internships in your field simply may not be paying jobs, but are valuable in the sense that they give you experience you absolutely need to get a job once you've graduated college. An internship will have a huge impact on your resume if all your other jobs have been non-career related jobs that you took just to earn some spending cash in high school. Also, while an internship may not pay with money, it sometimes counts as credits towards your college degree. These are usually mandatory internships you will be required to do as part of your studies.
Aside from paying and non-paying internships, there are other considerations. You can take a summer-specific internship when classes are out and you have more free time. An internship close to home or college can be quite convenient, but you can also look for more lofty experiences by choosing to take an internship abroad. Your internship doesn't even have to be related to your major studies. It might be in a field that you have considered as a backup plan, but want to learn more about before changing majors.
There are many ways to find the internship that is right for you. For starters, your school administrative offices or teachers might be able to give you the advice and guidance. Employers even directly advertise internships through schools and in the classifieds. Friends and family are another good resource. If you know someone in the field you want to study, you can ask them about any internship opportunities. If there's a specific organization or company for which you'd like to work, you can call them directly and inquire about possible internships. Libraries and bookstores carry books devoted to internships. And finally, one of the most powerful tools is right at your fingertips - the internet. In fact, it might be the first place you want to start in your internship research, and, if you're reading this, you probably already have!