Finding an Internship: 5 Things for Students and Graduates to Consider

college students standing close together

By Jona Ohm, APR 

It’s internship season! But before you start applying, have you thought about what you want from this experience? As someone who has been both an intern and a supervisor, I’ve learned some valuable lessons on finding an internship. Plus, I’ve talked to a current intern and a student searching for a good internship. Together, we’ve combined some tips to help you through this exciting but sometimes overwhelming process.


1. Know Your Goals 

Think about what you want to achieve from your internship. What are your hopes and dreams? Internships are great opportunities to explore different industries, learn new skills and make connections. Knowing what you want will help you find the right internship and make the most of it. Whether it’s gaining hands-on experience or meeting new people, having a clear goal will make your internship experience better.


2. Real Work Experience

Let’s face it: nobody loves busy work. But before you dismiss those seemingly menial tasks, consider this: they are the bedrock upon which your professional skills are built. Embrace both the glamorous projects and the foundational work that is less thrilling. Tasks like research, fact-checking, and proofreading may not set your heart racing, but they’re indispensable in honing your abilities. Plus, they will be necessary for any job you apply for down the road. Remember, every experience is a learning opportunity, regardless of how mundane it may seem at first glance.


3. Consider the Location

Internships aren’t just in offices anymore. With remote work becoming more common, you have more options. Remote internships offer flexibility and the chance to work with people from all over the world. Think about what type of work environment suits you best. In-person internships give you hands-on experience, while remote ones expose you to different industries and perspectives. 


4. Networking

You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not just what you know, but who you know.” This is especially true for internships. Building relationships and expanding your professional network are key to your career. Even if your internship isn’t your dream job, the people you meet could open doors for you in the future. Attend events, connect with professionals online, and don’t be afraid to reach out for advice. Every connection you make is valuable.


5. Mentorship

Having a mentor can make a big difference in your professional journey. A good mentor can offer advice, support, and insights based on their own experiences. Whether you’re an intern or a seasoned professional, mentorship helps you grow and succeed. Don’t hesitate to ask someone you admire to be your mentor. The best mentors are those who genuinely care about your success and want to help you succeed.

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