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Finding an Internship
by TeenHelp June 3rd 2017, 01:29 PM

Finding an Internship

An internship is a program where a college student is able to work in their field while still attending school in order to gain more experience in their field. During an internship the student is able to learn about their field from a supervisor who has a number of years of experience. An internship is sometimes required by the college the student attends. In other cases, the student may voluntarily decide to complete an internship. Finding an internship site can feel daunting, but once a student finds the right internship site, it can be incredibly beneficial.

How an internship differs from a job
The key difference between an internship and a job is that an internship is not required to pay. The internship supervisor benefits from this because this means they are able to complete more projects without having to pay a regular employee. The student benefits because they are gaining work experience. Some internships do pay their students or offer other benefits. It is important for a student to ask their supervisor whether or not their internship will offer any type of payment or stipend because the supervisor may be able to apply for grant money to provide the student with pay. If the student does not ask, this may not happen.

While some internship sites end up hiring their interns after the completion of the internship program, the internship site is not required to do this and the student is not guaranteed employment with the internship site at the completion of the program. However, an internship is still an important way to gain practical experience and it will help a student get their foot in the door at other places of employment.

How an internship differs from an apprenticeship
Internship programs are more common, however depending on the student's chosen field, an apprenticeship may be more beneficial. Apprenticeships typically last longer than an internship. While an internship may last for a few months or for the duration of a semester, an apprenticeship can take several years to complete. An apprenticeship gives someone real, hands-on training in their chosen field with a skilled supervisor and is generally considered to be more in-depth than an internship. At the end of the program, the student will receive a certificate of completion that proves they are proficient in their field, which makes them more employable.

Another benefit to apprenticeships is that they generally pay better than an internship does. So, along with getting credit and learning about the field, a student who enters an apprenticeship normally receives payment or other benefits while they are in the program. However, this also means that apprenticeships are more competitive.

Benefits of an internship
There are many benefits to completing an internship.
  • By completing an internship, the student will now have work experience. This work experience will be valuable when applying for jobs because their employer will see that they already have knowledge in the area they are applying for. This gives them a leg up on a job seeker that may not have completed an internship program.
  • Some students obtain employment at their internship site upon completion of the program. While this is not required, many internship sites offer their interns permanent positions after the completion of their program. This is because the supervisor already knows the student's work ethic and skillset.
  • An internship allows for networking. The people someone meets while completing their internship can become valuable connections who can write letters of recommendation, suggest potential places of employment, and introduce them to other important figures in the field.
  • An internship can increase a student's confidence. Upon completion of the internship a student may feel more capable of entering the workforce.
  • An internship may give students an idea of what they would like or dislike in a potential career. For many students, an internship is their first taste of what their lives will be like when they enter the workforce. Therefore, the internship will help the student decide what they may or may not like from a potential worksite based upon aspects of the internship.

Finding an internship site
Sometimes it can be difficult to find an internship site, but there are ways students can make this process easier. Also, there are many places of employment who are looking for internships, but not all of them will fit the needs of every student. Therefore, it is important that each student does their research on the various internship sites to find an internship that suits their needs.
  • Make use of networking. When someone networks, they are making connections with others in their field to further their career. They can connect with professors or other professionals that they know. The benefit of this is that these connections can suggest potential places to intern, or even offer them an internship themselves.
  • Look online. It is common for internship sites to post ads online. Look through various career websites in order to see if there are any postings that are relevant.
  • Attend career fairs. Many colleges, or even communities, host career fairs where employers can connect with prospective employees. It is important for someone who is looking for an internship to attend these because they may be able to connect with an employer who is willing to take on an intern. Even if they don't find a potential internship site at the career fair, the employers at the fair may be able to suggest other places to look.
  • Go to the college's advisement center. Many colleges have career advising centers. These can be beneficial for students searching for an internship because they have connections to internship sites in many of the fields a student may be interested in. They can also help with activities such as building a resume or preparing for an interview.
  • Look for professional organizations. Many professionals are members of organizations, where those in their field can come together to learn from one another. A student may be able to find a professional organization in their related field in their state. If the organization's website provides a phone number, the student can call them and ask them for suggestions on potential internship sites.
  • Make a list of things to accomplish during the internship. If a student has a list of goals and things they wish to accomplish during the internship, they will then be able to narrow their search down to internship sites that will be able to meet these needs. The student may need to be a little bit flexible depending on what internship sites are nearby, but there should be at least a few that meet some of the student's needs.
  • Create a resume and make it specific to the field of interest. If a student makes the resume specific to what they are looking for, they will be able to tailor it to show the skills and experience that are best suited to the internship site they are looking to apply to.

Other considerations
Decide on the length of the internship. If the internship is required by the student's college, they may have set a specific number of hours the student should complete by the end of the program. In this case, the internship normally is a semester long, and the hours are split throughout the course of the semester. In other cases, there is not a set number of hours and the student should talk to their supervisor to determine the length that is appropriate for them. Some students work while completing their internship and this is something that should be taken into account when deciding on how many hours to complete per week.

Research the potential internship site. Know the mission, values, and goals of the internship site and have an idea of what type of work is done at the site. It is okay to have questions for the interviewer, but make sure to know what the site is about.

Practice interview skills. This can be done with a family member or friend who has experience with interviews. Practice asking and answering questions.

Dress appropriately. On the day of the interview it is suggested to wear business-casual clothing. For example, dress pants and a nice shirt may be acceptable. Do not wear anything too low-cut or that would reveal the stomach. It is not recommended to wear jeans or sneakers or anything excessively flashy.

Be honest. Since this is an internship where the supervisor will be training a student, they will not expect someone to know everything. Students should be honest when talking about themselves, because this will go a long way.

Once an internship is found it can be very rewarding and is a great way to gain real-world experience in a professional field. If someone wants to gain hands-on experience and also become more marketable to potential employers, an internship is the way to go!
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Manavenzh Offline
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Arrow Re: Finding an Internship - May 19th 2021, 09:42 AM

You need to look for an internship in the organization where you plan to work. Then, during the internship, you will have an understanding whether you like it or not, and the team will already know you. But the search needs to start in advance, because not all companies allow their interns to stay in their state after training. Of course, you can work for the sake of gaining experience, but you want to stay, don't you? I would advise you, if you want to start working in the IT field familiarize yourself with the future courses of testers on the site. After that, you will have the opportunity to get into the state full-time. Once upon a time I myself passed this path and now I am sharing it with you

Last edited by Rob; August 2nd 2021 at 09:38 PM.
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