In light of COVID-19 and its negative impact on the job market, it is more critical than ever for college students to complete successful and impressive internships. Most students incorporate this into their school programs, but they can even be secured following graduation. The point being that just a degree will likely not be enough to secure a good first professional position. Employers will be looking for relevant experience in addition to education.
However, because of the high degree of competition there will be for good internships, and later for entry-level professional jobs, it’s a good idea to start early and consider two or even three internships. The early internships do not need to be long or complicated, just enough to start getting experience and connections in your career field.
The final internship should be chosen or developed based on its ability to provide you with a solid footing in your field. Ideally it will incorporate tasks and projects related to the type of career you want to develop. Many internships offer an opportunity for hire upon completion, so research industries and companies to identify what could serve as an effective launchpad for your career. Don’t let fear stop you from being assertive in contacting companies directly. You will find that some do not appreciate it, but that others will recognize your pro-active approach as a quality.
Taking an assertive approach to create your own internship with a company can reap huge rewards, but good opportunities through university career resource centers, alumni networks, and professor referrals could also be considered. Other resources include websites such as Internships.com, Youtern.com, and Tallo.com. Effective internship searches can also be conducted through Indeed, Glassdoor, Google, and LinkedIn. Remember to build out your LinkedIn profile to impress those employers you want to attract.
It is very important that your resume shines and powerfully reflects what you have to offer. Check out ResumeBuilder for some good examples. COVID-19 has boosted an already growing use of Zoom and other video resources for interviewing. Become comfortable with using these tools and practice using them in preparation for interviews.
Evaluate opportunities carefully to ensure they will meet your needs. Be wary of final internships that are little more than glorified clerical roles, which are essentially using your labor to take care of their needs cheaply. Remember, you need the experience from this internship on your resume and in interviews to show potential employers you have been gaining skills in this career field.
A strong internship strategy will go far in helping you enter the career of your dreams. Remember to be bold and courageous in taking charge of your future. Committing your energy, determination, and ambition in doing this will help you get an excellent start during what may be a very challenging time.