So you want an internship. Where do you start? When should you start considering internships? When should you apply? What should you include on your resume? Which field is best for your career goals? How do you make the critical choice of where to invest your time and possibly start your career?
Wow. That’s a lot of questions. But, let’s take a deep breath and not get overwhelmed. Instead, let’s take one question at a time.
Question one: Where do you start?
What about, “Let’s see…what do I want to do for the rest of my life?” Easy question, right? Who really knows? Well, you do. It may take you a while to figure it out, but it’s there. Find your passion. If you’re passionate about the work you do, it won’t really seem like work. You’ll get paid to do the things you love.
Once you find your passion, do some research. Find a company whose core values and mission statement match yours. They will empower you to do great things. It will also help guide you towards your career goals.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Your first role may not be your dream job but this is a step in the right direction.
Question two: What should you put on your resume?
Employers do not wish to see the daily tasks under the job title—put together a resume that showcases who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Give us the good stuff. What value did you add to that role or organization? How did you take them to the next level? Don’t sell yourself short. This is your platform to be bold and brag on yourself.
Remember to accept your resume and be proud of it. It may never be perfect for everyone or every company so make it perfect for selling yourself.
Question three: How do you apply?
Luckily, your university is partnering with corporations like Walmart and providing you with the resources you need to ace this part.
Question four: When should you apply?
I recommend you take your freshmen year to absorb all the information and have fun with it. Start networking to understand how your peers use their degrees. See what doors that will open.
Freshmen that attend a corporate engagement on campus just to “feel it out” leave a positive impression. Plus, there’s no pressure on you and you’ll have a leg up for next year.
If you think about it, it’s never too early to start considering internships and companies. Isn’t that what you’ve been preparing yourselves for throughout your whole academic journey anyway?
At the beginning of your sophomore year, put your plan into action. Attend a corporate engagement, get feedback from your friends who may have completed an internship, take a risk, adapt on the fly. That’s the glory of scoring an internship; you get 10 weeks (typically) to “try before you buy.” Utilize this time to make sure it’s the right company for you.
Question five: Are you ready for this?
Yes, you are. Now get out there, be confident, be courageous, be you. Go score that internship that’s going to give you additional tools to become successful and work for a company you’re proud of. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. You might just have the time of your life along the way.