How I Got My Internship
Getting an internship is a lot of work and sometimes seemingly impossible to do. But they’re also a fantastic opportunity to learn, work, and gain experience in your future field! Some even lead to careers. After going through the process of trying to find an intership this year (and getting incredibly lucky by landing one!) I figured I’d share what I learned in hopes of keeping others from making my same mistakes.
It’s hard to know where to begin looking for an internship. One of the first things you have to know about is where and what you want to do your internship on. Obviously your major is an easy place to start, but don’t be afraid to look into some other internships if you want to try something new. Then figure out where you want to go. Hometown? College town? New York? Whatever sounds like an adventure. The nice part of an internship is it’s only temporary so if you feel like trying a new town out, this is the perfect opportunity to do it.
There are tons of great websites that you can search for internships through, but the one that I found the most useful was internmatch.com. You could type in all the things you were looking for in an intership including place, time, pay, subject, nonprofit, everything. It would then find as many internships as possible that matched and even remind you when the applications were due. Even though I didn’t end up finding my internship through this website, it helped me a lot with figuring out exactly what I wanted to do.
Even though I didn’t use the website that I loved, my mom helped me figure out that my internship was right under my nose the whole time! She had the brilliant idea to start asking the YMCA, where I’ve worked for 4 years if they had internships available, and they did! I know not all of you have pasts at YMCA’s, but looking at places where you’ve looked before is a huge help because if they have an internship available, you already have an in! Even if they don’t just start looking around businesses in town that you think might want one and start talking. The particular branch of the YMCA that I’m interning at wasn’t actually offering an intern job when I applied. I simply sat down with a woman and discussed what I was looking for and she was happy to try it out with me and I couldn’t be happier.
The most important thing that I learned is to be conscious of your time. It is never too early to start looking, and 9 time out of 10 it helps. I kind of learned that one the hard way because when I started looking most of the internship deadlines had passed. You want plenty of time to look for, apply for, and interview for an internship. Obviously the more time you have, the more you can prepare so that your resume is perfect for the job and for representing you. I must’ve redone my resume 5 times before I finally handed it in.
As long as you show that you have passion and commitment to a job, you should be solid! Many are competitive, so don’t take it personally if you don’t get one, but never stop trying! Good luck!