Here are some tips and techniques I've used to get internships as an undergraduate student in college. By following these tips, I was able to land an internship every year!
If you're a college freshman, these tips apply to you too; don’t let your newness discourage you.
By following these tips, keeping your grades up, and staying prepared, I am certain that like myself, you will be able to get an internship too.
Let’s get started:
1. JOIN A STUDENT ORGANIZATION
For me, this was a pivotal step towards securing an opportunity to get an internship with a company. Student organizations are set up and in place to help you. By becoming a member, you will be able to reap the benefits of stable networking resources, valued friendships, and opportunities for programs offered by the organization.
For me as a college freshman, I wanted to make sure I got plugged in immediately. I was going to school to study mechanical engineering, and I knew I would need help and support in order to prosper successfully in that field. I had a goal to get connected with organizations that would help me educational and professionally. For these reasons, I joined organizations such as NSBE (National Society for Black Engineers), SWE (Society for Women Engineers), and INROADS to name a few. These organizations specifically helped bridge the gap between me and a company recruiter.
If you need help finding out what organizations to join, figure out your specific goals, and find organizations that cater to those goals. Go to the student organization department at your school and find out more about the student organizations they have to offer. Student organizations are always looking for new members, so they should be easily available for you.
2. Go to a Career Fair/Recruitment Event
Career fairs and recruitment events are by far the best way for you to get an internship or co-op opportunity. At these types of events, company recruiters and representatives are available in person to look at your resume.
As a member of NSBE, I was able to go to annual conventions where career fairs were held. These career fairs had over one hundred corporate sponsors there, ready to hire and engage with new employees. Through these types of opportunities, I was able to hand out my resume to several different companies, and have on-the-spot interviews. Talk about a quick process! Through these on-location interviews, I received internship offers, and was able to score paid internship opportunities every year since then.
Quick Tip: Before you go to a career fair, I would highly suggest visiting the career services department at your school. This way you will be able to get help on perfecting your resume, and help with interviewing skills and techniques. (For Interviewing Tips Click Here). Once you’ve perfected these skills, you will then be ready to present yourself to top recruiters and companies.
3. Get a Mentor
A mentor is such a valued person on your team. This is a person who will help you reach and attain your professional and/or educational goals. By having a mentor, you will have someone who can coach you and help you build your resume. This person will also be able to supply you with a great network of professionals who can get you in the door with different companies.
This type of assistance will help you in more ways than one, so I highly suggest finding a valued and seasoned professional mentor to help you with your endeavors.
4. Apply Online
Several companies have ways you can apply for internship and co-op opportunities online.
The best way to do this is to make a personal list of companies you would like to work for, and go to their online websites. A search option should be available for you online to find companies' career services portal for job and internship applications.
To get an internship, the opportunities are endless. There is sure to be one method here that you can apply towards your internship finding goals. The best thing I did as a college freshman was get involved in an organization like NSBE, that was able to help me work on my craft while marketing myself to recruiters.
Get connected, find a network, and start applying! Always do your research before joining any group or organization, and spend the time needed to sharpen your communication skills and perfect your resume. (For Tips on Writing a Resume Click Here).
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Published by Crystal Ngumezi