So you have decided that you want to take an internship to complement your studies and have some professional working experience. Or, perhaps an internship is part of your required curriculum in order to obtain your degree. In any case, looking for an internship can be difficult: there are many possibilities and it’s hard to know where to start searching. In this article, some tips and tricks are provided to get you on the right track to finding a good internship.
Important questions to answer before applying for an internship
First of all, it is important to think about what you want from an internship. Skills you would like to learn, positions that seem interesting, companies where you’ve always wanted to work. Try to create a list with possible internship opportunities. Also, think about the practical side of finding an internship: do you want to find a summer internship? Do you want to have a part-time internship or a full-time internship? Are you willing to travel a little bit and if so, how long, or should the company be based in your hometown? Finding an answer to these questions gives you a broader idea on what to look for when searching for an internship.
Where to find internship opportunities
If you have a general idea what kind of internship you would like to apply for, then you are ready to start searching for internship offers. It is recommended to find as many internships as possible, in order to broaden your chances to actually obtain an internship. However, be sure to only save the offers that seem interesting to you.
At your school or university, there is probably a career center that takes care of career preparation for students and graduates. These departments usually have some internship offers available for students in particular fields. Also, you can ask your professors or fellow students if they have any recommendations or know any companies that are looking to hire interns. Generally, if you are required by your school or university to do an internship for your degree, there are internship offers available at the career center of your university. Even if you are voluntarily seeking an internship, many universities receive internship vacancies from companies. Asking around your school or university is a good place to start searching.
Friends and family
Another way to find interesting opportunities is to ask around in your personal network. Friends, family or acquaintances may know just the place that is looking to hire interns. Let them know you are currently searching for an internship. Your best friend’s dad may work at a company that is hiring interns. If you find any job opportunities and decide to apply, be sure to keep the friend/ family member that helped you updated. Perhaps they can even give you a good recommendation at the company.
Often, corporate websites publish vacancies on their own website before they post them on other recruitment websites. With a general idea of what kind of company you would like to work for, you may seek in the career section of their website if there is an offer that suits you. Otherwise, if you know in general the geographical area where you would like to work, your hometown for instance, or perhaps an international internship in a different country, you could search for companies there.
Online databases and Social Media
Other places where you can pursue your search for an internship are online databases such as job boards. As there are many offers on there, we recommend using the search bar and filters to narrow your search down. For instance, type ‘internship’ followed by some keywords of your desired internship. In addition, such boards often have filters where you can adjust place and time (parttime/fulltime), which can be really helpful as well.
Social Media is an interesting place to look for internship offers as well. In general, LinkedIn is the professional social media website where you can create a professional profile and search for jobs. There are also many internship opportunities available. Furthermore, don’t forget Twitter or Facebook, as many websites advertise their vacancies on those platforms as well.
These tips should get you started with finding internship vacancies that are interesting to you. After collecting several offers, it is time to write motivation letters and apply.