“They won’t hire me without experience, but I can’t get experience unless they hire me.”
A successful internship has become an essential tool in the “hire me” toolkit of new college graduates. Future employers see internships as a way of measuring commitment to a specific career and industry and identifying experience in doing work similar to the position for which a candidate is applying. For you as a job seeker, internships can help you determine whether a career truly is a fit with your skills, interests and personality.
Your internship is an important step toward your future career. Think carefully and choose wisely!
Select an internship that offers the opportunity to build on your academic knowledge, do career-related activities that build your resume and add to your portfolio, and are similar to the kind of work you want to do after graduation. Consider your internship site as a way to establish connections in your future industry. If you are considering an internship at your current employer, ask yourself:
• Will the internship give me new assignments and a new supervisor?
• Will the internship prepare me for my post-graduation career goal?
Basic Steps for Selecting an Internship
1. Identify 2 -3 careers that interest you (Options 1, 2, and 3 ) and require a college degree
2. Determine the skills and experiences desired when hiring new graduates in these areas (http://www.onetonline.org is a good resource for this information)
3. Select an internship offers development of the skills you identified (pt. 2) and that will provide experiences that make you a good job candidate for your desired position
Is this a good Internship for you? Ask yourself:
• Will this develop skill sets related to my career aspirations?
• Will I use frameworks, theories, and knowledge learned in my major/support?
• What kind of projects or experiences are there (do presentations, write articles, etc.)?
• How will I be mentored? .
• Can I develop my professional network and identity in my field here?
• Will it help bridge the gap between academic knowledge and professional practice?
• How will this internship help me determine my first work destination after graduation?