Summer is already in full swing, but it's still not too late to get a great summer internship. With the current tough job market, finding a summer job is tough and having real-world job experience is a crucial key to landing a job after college. This makes having a summer internship even more important. Although students typically begin looking for internships as early as January, June is still not too late.
If you are looking for an internship, here are a few tips that can help you find what you're looking for:
Narrow down your goals - This can be tricky for many college students, but it's an important part of the process. You have to have an idea of what field you want to work in before you can chose the right internship. It's important to narrow down your focus so that you can search for opportunities in that field, otherwise, you'll miss out on opportunities because you are looking at a much larger picture. If you are still uncertain about what you want to do with your life, try talking to people who are working in industries you are interested in. It will help you decide if it's something you want to peruse.
Connect with your network - Don't underestimate the power of your network. This doesn't just mean professors and other students, but even your extended family and the families of your close friends. There have been many times that I have been given a great opportunity because my friend's aunt or mother knew someone who knew someone and so on. So, be sure to talk about what you are looking for and ask for help finding it.
Don't overlook small companies - It's tempting to look for internships with large companies and industry leaders, however there are still many opportunities available for those who are willing to look a little further. Small companies don't get the same number of applicants and may have more positions open. Also, small companies can give you the chance to work with a small group of people who can give you more advice and assistance that you would receive with a larger company.
Do some research - When looking at internships, research the company and find out more about who they are and what their corporate culture is like. This is a great way to find the right place for you. No matter what your interests or hobbies are, there's bound to be a company that has a culture that you can get behind. Don't make the mistake of discounting how important that is. If you are a free-spirited person who values self-expression, working for a very conservative company might not be a good fit and can make you re-think your career choices.
Consider unpaid internships - Not all internships are paid, but the unpaid ones can be great opportunities. If you are offered an unpaid internship that you feel would be a huge help in reaching your career goals, think of ways that you can still earn money while working for them. Maybe you'll have to get a part-time job or do odd jobs on the side. It may not be ideal, but if it's worth it, you can find a way to make it happen.