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Internships 101

“It’s literally negative two degrees outside. It’s too cold to be productive,” I defended myself to my mom. When I told her I refused to leave my bed and was having a Netflix binge day rather than going to the library, she was not a proud parent. But I wasn’t exaggerating. It literally was negative two degrees outside. And if I didn’t have to leave my warm, cozy bed, then I had no intention of doing so. Of course, my mom gave me a list of things I could be doing from my bed that would be productive, and one of them was to look at internship opportunities for the upcoming summer.

It’s hard to think of ever getting out of this bitter and brutal “polar vortex,” but before we know it summer is going to be here and it’s goodbye to snow boots and Northface jackets and hello to flip flops and tanning oil. But summer as a college student is different from summer as a high schooler. In high school, it was the norm to work as a counselor at a day camp or a cashier at your neighborhood FroYo spot. But as college students, we’re expected to get internships to gain experience that can help us get jobs when we graduate and enter the real world.

How am I supposed to know what I want to do with my life? What internships even relate to my major? When do most companies start hiring? Are they going to hire me if I don’t have any previous experience in my major? A lot of thought goes into finding an internship, and it may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be! There are tons of resources that you can utilize to help you perfect your resume, prep for interviews, learn about different companies, and snag your dream internship!

 

The Career Center: Considering that The Career Center is right on campus, there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources they have available for students. If you visit careercenter.umich.edu, they have an easy-to-navigate website that offers virtual mock interviews, a career assessment test to help you narrow down your interests, and resume and cover letter resources! And on top of all of this, you can make an in-person appointment with a career consultant to answer any questions you have regarding where your future can take you.

LinkedIn: I like to think of LinkedIn as the Facebook of the professional world. Creating an account is simple and will allow you to discover opportunities to jumpstart your career. It’s a great way to check out companies you’re interested in, build a presentable professional identity, and connect with both classmates and colleagues as you navigate your way through the working world.

Internqueen.com: A friend introduced me to this website and it is amazing! You can specify what industry you want your internship to be in (i.e. business, graphic design, marketing, public policy), where you want to be located, and what time of the year. Internqueen then gives you a list of internships that match your specifications and you can click on each option and learn more about the company, what’s expected from an intern, etc. There are plenty of other great internship search websites (such as indeed.com and internsushi.com) that are easy to use and extremely helpful!

 

Don’t be scared to go out there and make a name for yourself. Although internships may seem intimidating, they’re the best way to gain skills in your area of interest and get the experience you need to land a job later in life. So instead of cuddling under your covers in bed watching this week’s episode of New Girl, start looking at some resources to help you find your ideal internship!

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