Students spend four years enduring lectures, homework, and student loans in college in order to pursue a career in their dream field, such as becoming a doctor, artist, or engineer. However, they will need more than just going to college to guarantee a job.
An overwhelming number of factors will determine your ultimate future. But do not fret; a surefire way to tilt the odds in your favor is to take up an internship.
But how does one find an internship for college students? What kind of student internships should they take? What is the best kind of internship? And finally, what are you to look for in a student internship? This article is here to help you find out.
Benefits of Internships for College Students
College students and graduates are very eager to work and start a prosperous career in their chosen major. Oh, but hold your horses: you are rarely going to make a six figures job right out of college. Earning your degree helps with job finding immensely, but it is not the only factor to success. In order to better secure a promising future, you need to look into internships that will help you get a head start.
Internships may seem undesirable as “intern” gives the impression of a job that is not quite a job. This is not helped that many internships do not offer pay. However, there are benefits to taking an internship in college.
Internships can grow your network
Finding the time (and energy) to undergo a student internship would be a massive boon for college students. Internships put you in a position where you can grow connections with people within the industry. You are often not told this, but socializing with people and making your name known is just as important, if not more important, as having a good GPA and getting your degree. While taking college classes, you should definitely socialize and make yourself known to the people you will work with in the future.
Internships get you some real work experience
Do not be surprised when seemingly simple and entry-level jobs ask for years of experience before you even think of applying. Take this article’s advice, and you will get ahead of the curve, turning those requirements into mere recommendations. Working an internship is also very beneficial for getting some work experience, which is another crucial part of your work life after college.
If at this point, getting an internship has piqued your interest, then you are already thinking about getting one. However, you shouldn’t get too ahead of yourself! When is the best time to start looking for internships?
When Should You Start Looking for Internships?
As a college student, you already have a lot to worry about:
- Saving money for tuition and living.
- Attending lectures.
- Completing homework on time.
- Doing extra work to build a resume and rapport.
Internships, however, only achieve a few of these aspects at a time. If you take an internship, it will be yet another thing on your plate that you have to handle, and college students have to handle a lot. So when is the best time for you to take an internship; to take advantage of the benefits while not screwing yourself out of your college education?
We recommend that you get at least one full year of college done. Your freshman year is your most crucial college year (next to your senior year, of course). While the lectures and material are simple and not immediately relevant to your major, freshman year is when you try to understand your place in college. You are learning where your classes are, where the best place to eat lunch and study is, where to meet new people, and so on. You are adjusting to college life, which is far more important than immediately getting a job.
After two to three semesters of moving around and adjusting to college life, you should have a clearer idea of what you want to do. By your second year, you might want to take a job to help pay for school lunches or tuition, or you may be thinking about joining a club. Sophomore year is when the freshness of college has worn off. You start taking classes based on your major, like a computer science major learning the fundamentals of coding or an art major getting into still-life drawings.
This is the time that you want to take an internship. Companies and groups love to take in young and inexperienced college students eager to start working and earning experience. After your first year, and you know what you are and are not capable of, you can take that internship, getting ahead of many other students and potential employees.
So now you’ve found your time and are fully resolved to take an internship, where do you find them? What company or group can you join to start calling yourself an intern?
Where to Find Internships for College Students?
All things considered, getting the time to get an internship is not the most challenging issue with internships; far from it. Finding the right internship to invest in is the hard part. You need to put yourself out there and search for companies and positions willing to hire college students who want to get into internships as soon as possible.
It’s not just about finding an internship; it’s about finding one that nets you enough experience in what and where you want to work in the future. There are many different sites and places where you can take an internship.
- Everyone will immediately point you to a site like LinkedIn, a site based entirely around building connections and resume with people from all over the world. With a fully fleshed-out profile, companies will want to come to you. You can even take a LinkedIn internship; imagine what you can achieve when you’re interning for people who create social networks.
- Glassdoor is another excellent option for college students to get an internship, though it is much more direct and upfront than LinkedIn. It has a straightforward interface and allows you to see various reviews from others, so you know if this company is good for you or not (or if they’re good at all).
- One overlooked source for internships, however, is your college. Colleges offer career services that give you a better grasp of what to look for. These services are very good for nabbing an internship, and we mean something other than working at your college and university (though that is also a very convenient option).
Keep in mind that just because you accept an internship with a company doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a future with them. Many students take internships as an opportunity to start joining a company they’ve always wanted to work with. Likewise, any internship experience is good for landing great opportunities in the future.
But what goes into considering an internship? How does one become more informed and prepared to choose what is best for them?
3 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Internship
If you are fully resolved on getting yourself down and taking an internship, then we should warn you that it is rarely as simple as walking up to the internship office and asking for one. There are things that you should consider when you go for an internship: things that guarantee three key factors:
Gaining Experience & Skills
Internships help you learn new skills and gain experience that you wouldn’t get just by working in school. The kind of experience you would never get in college just by attending lectures. Find internships that will put you as close to the driver’s seat of your career so that you can get to work immediately with no delay when you land a consistent job out of college.
Networking with Others
Find an internship that puts you closer to as many people as possible. Internships are an opportunity to get yourself out there and make yourself known: this is especially good for you if you are pursuing a career or field that involves interacting with others. And, of course, when you land the job, take advantage of it by getting to know as many people as possible and making a name for yourself there.
To get this out of the way: many internships are unpaid. You will not be able to make money off those internships—not directly, at least. They are designed more for gaining experience and establishing yourself in your field. However, paid internships exist; you should look for and get them if you can. You’re doing work, so you should be paid for your work! That is something that you need to understand more than anything—more than gaining experience or networking with people!
Wrapping Things Up: How to Find Internships for College Students?
How to find internships for college students? You need to understand the benefits of taking an internship, know the best time to take an internship, and balance and weigh the best factors to take one. An internship is a glimpse into your future, and you can take the chance to mold that future into your making. But when you finally find the internship you want, you’ll secure that future and be ready to graduate college with renewed purpose and focus!
Check out our ultimate internship guide for college students here.