Landing your summer internship: tips and resources

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
@HeatherGoldin

Aside from an excellent learning experience, internships may be a step towards landing a job. According to the 2011 NACE Internship and Co-op survey, cited in the internship workshop by BU's Career Development Center, about 58 percent of interns get hired full-time/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

Aside from an excellent learning experience, internships may be a step towards landing a job. According to the 2011 NACE Internship and Co-op survey, cited in the internship workshop by BU’s Career Development Center, about 58 percent of interns get hired full-time/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

With the start of spring just around the corner, internship season is in full swing. Companies are in search of eager college students who are willing to learn the ins and outs of their trade.

Internships are a win-win for both students and employers. We obtain a valuable learning experience and great connections while the employer gets to work with driven students who want to succeed and help in any way they can.

I did some research in order to find advice and resources that I thought would be most helpful during an internship search. I also attended an internship workshop at the Career Development Center here at BU.

Personal Goals

According to the Quintessential Career Site, the first major step in internships is to understand your own internship goals. Before you start sending out applications you should probably know basic things such as what you hope to gain from an internship, what your career interest is, and what type of companies you are looking to work for.

Some other things to consider (mentioned in the Career Development Center’s internship workshop) are whether an internship is paid or unpaid, part-time or full time, and whether or not you are awarded academic credit for partaking.  All of these factors will help drive you to your best-fit internship, sort of like how we all chose Boston University as our ideal school.

Preparation

Before you start your internship search, an organized resume is important. Sometimes that resume is the only document between you and an interview.

The Center for Career Development, located at 100 Baystate Road, offers multiple workshops on internship throughout the year as well as open office hours to look your resume over without the hassle of making an appointment. These office hours are also for reviewing cover letters, which vary depending on which company you are applying to.

If you are like me and aren’t sure how to start building a resume, the CDC  has a page specific to the format of a resume, which is pretty convenient if you ask me.

The Career Development Center offers helpful tips and resources for your internship search/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

The Career Development Center offers helpful tips and resources for your internship search/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

Resources

Finding an internship can be daunting at first, but if you know where to look the process gets a lot easier.

The BU Career link  features internship postings that can be sorted by position, location and school affiliation, as well as employer directories that can be searched through easily with key words.

Another great resource for local internships is Bostinno’s Internship Hub, where new job opportunities are constantly updated.

Sometimes if you already have a specific company in mind, you can go directly to the companies website and check out their career opportunities and internship descriptions or qualifications.

Remember 

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you probably won’t find your dream internship right away. It is good to gain experience from other job opportunities instead of tossing them aside because you’re determined to start with your favorite, top-notch company.

Also, don’t get discouraged if your first applications don’t get you internship offers right away. Internships are just as much about employers finding individuals who will be the best fit for a position as it is about us finding the companies that give us the best overall experience. Don’t give up!

Network, and do it frequently. Speaking with guest lecturers, professors, and even your peers about internships may give you a step up in the search. Connections can get you far, but be sure to follow up with your contacts to demonstrate that you are serious about any offers they might send your way.

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