According to NACE 2010 Internship and Co-Op survey, 83% of employers said they use internship programs as a tool for recruiting entry-level talent.
The experience gained from an internship will give you a tremendous edge when it comes to career success. It can be the beginning of a successful career, or it can provide insight into a tough decision about choosing a major.
The first thing to remember about internships, is that no matter where you are working it is a real job. It is easy to think that because it only lasts a short time, or maybe is only a part time job that it is ok to slack off. This is not true at all, because many times companies hire good interns full time. Think of this as a try out for a full time job once you graduate!
Benefits of Internships:
Edge in the job market – Having experience in your field, or even in a similar field will make you more valuable to employers. You might also find that the company you interned for prefers to hire its interns, which gives you a leg up on a great job!
Students without any type of work experience during college might find it more difficult to find a job after graduation then their classmates who had an internship or other work experience.
Assistance with decision making – Understanding the field you choose to go into before you graduate from college can help you solidify your career choices, or prompt you to make a change while still in school.
An internship is a great opportunity to test out a specific field to decide if this is what you enjoy. If you realize it is not a good match, you have the opportunity to try out another internship in a different area.
Try out different types of companies – You might have a desire to work in a large company once you graduate, but what if you don’t like it? Internships give you the chance to learn not only about working in your field, but about the work environment as well. You might find that you have a preference for a different size/type of company.
Gain references – Working in your chosen field will give you the chance to impress not only your supervisor but co-workers as well. When it comes time to job search, you will be able to impress future employers by having some great references that have seen you in action!
Networking opportunities – Meeting people is one of the best ways to find a job. Did you know that approximately 70-80% of open jobs are never advertised for in either newspapers or online? This is because people use their network of professional contacts to learn about job openings. Even if the company you interned at cannot hire you, contacts you make there might know of openings at similar companies.
Connecting your coursework with real world experience – There are times when it is hard to understand how what you are learning in the classroom relates to jobs in the “real world.” Gaining exposure to related experience will allow you to apply what you have learned in the classroom to your job, as well as bring back relevant experiences to share in the classroom.
Developing skills- As an intern, you may learn skills to perform your duties. This is a great opportunity to develop and become comfortable with the skills that is necessary for your field. In turn, you are able to mention this on your resume and become a more qualified candidate.
Where to find internships:
Searching for an internship in many ways is like searching for a job. Here at UB, we use UBjobnet
for both job and internship listings. Check the website often because it is constantly updated as employers contact us for an opening.
Check out your academic departments because they have resources to assist you to land an internship.
Also, many large companies have internship programs and list them on their own websites. Research different companies in your field and check out any postings they have on their website. **Start as soon as possible because many internship programs have early deadlines**
One of the biggest online internship job sites:
For Internships in the Connecticut and Massachusetts area:
A site offering internship opportunities across the US:
A global database of internship opportunities both in the US and abroad in a wide range of fields:
Can’t move across the country for a summer? Checkout externships and try out a virtual internship!
Here is a site specifically geared towards college students
Get that Gig
Interested in interning in Washington D.C.? Want to learn more about government and policy?
Washington Internship Institute
For a larger listing of internship websites and databases, checkout Quintessential Careers!
Internship database that updates their listings 24/7 plus provide helpful tips!
Don’t forget to prepare your resume and cover letter. We offer many online resources to assist you with your preparation, or call 203.576.4466 to make an appointment to see a counselor.