When is the best time to search for an internship? With competitive internships, it is recommended students begin applying the summer before their junior year, as many companies begin hiring summer interns in the fall semester. International internships often begin the application process this early as well.
How do you select which internships to apply for? The more relevant an internship is to the career a student intends to pursue, the better. Some students have a clear and chosen profession in mind; this narrows down the search process. For students who are unsure which area of their professional field would be the best fit, an internship allowing them to explore multiple facets of a company is highly desirable.
How does money factor in? The purpose of an internship is to gain useful experience. Regardless of the competitiveness, location or company size, internships do wonders to a college student’s resume. While making money may be a necessity for some, seeking only paid internships will significantly limit your prospects.
Benefits of an internship:
- Improved chance of finding a job after graduation
- Opportunities for networking
- Valuable references / Letters of Recommendation
- Exposure to different aspects of a field - helps students find their niche
- Internships oftentimes lead to future jobs within the same company
- A transcript cannot attest to work ethic; whereas, internship experience can
- Demonstrates confidence in a path and dedication to a purpose
- Opportunities for teamwork
- Real-world business skills
- Responsibilities that strengthen time-management, organization and accountability (as well as other necessary executive functions)
Ultimately, the college student who can most confidently and seamlessly make the transition from student to professional will have an immediate advantage. A great way to do this is through an internship!
Forbes sites the following databases as the best for internship searches: