An internship is an integral part of almost every college program and they pave your way towards your dream job. In this article, we’ve combined tips on how to find an internship and what you may expect from one.
Internships are universal in every field. No matter which course you have picked, internships will be a part of it. In certain fields like Chartered Accountancy, internships are a compulsion while in other fields they are not. But they provide an edge to your candidature. Internships from government or recognized firms enhance your chances of securing your dream job. Other than that, they help you understand the work culture, gain a lot of exposure, and get the hang of professional life.
That being said, the first step is to understand how to find an internship. Almost every college advises the students to take up a summer internship towards the second last or last year of the course. Here are a few points that can help you understand how to find an internship.
How to Find an Internship
1. Enhance Your Skills
The sole purpose of internships is to observe and learn, but if you already have the right skill set, then getting an internship would be an easy job. It starts right from the beginning of the course. Once you have enrolled in a course in your desired field, look for something to match its scope and required skill set. For example, if you are a literature student you can look for internships in content writing, teaching, or human resources. Whereas a media student can apply for the position of a journalism intern.
For each of these internships, you may need to possess decent skills such as photography, content management, writing, and communication to secure an internship in a recognized firm. Even the college provides exposure to the students and helps them get internships. But you need to be vigilant and keep working on the skills that will help you get an internship.
Think about the kinds of skills your dream job would require, be it soft or technical skills. You can learn these through online platforms like Udemy or Lynda.com so your resume looks solid.
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2. Be Curious
Being curious will not only help you find an internship but goes a long way. Wondering how can curiosity help? Well, that’s a good start! Curiosity is the best way to learn. When you’re curious about things, you try to find solutions to and acquire more knowledge, this habit leaves you enlightened.
Hence, when you’re looking for an internship, you should be asking the right questions, such as how to find an internship? What do I need to get that internship? How would the internship be beneficial for me? Is there anyone who can help me find an internship? Asking yourself these questions gives you a clearer picture of the expectations you have from the internship and helps you navigate better.
It might sound a bit odd but most people get internships through socializing! But find the right people and as I mentioned earlier, be curious.
Ask your seniors from where they did their internships or professors can tell you a lot about different firms that roll out internships. If you share a good equation with them you can even request them to refer you. This works every single time. So next time you see your senior or your professor sitting alone, don’t think twice before giving them company.
It’s also a good idea to maintain a nice rapport with your college’s placement officers. They may be able to guide you regarding your resume or good companies to apply for.
4. Build a Resume
A resume is a formal document that itemizes the qualifications and educational background of a person trying to find an internship or looking for a job. In the case of an internship then you probably might not have prior work experience hence you can put stress on the educational background and skills that you have acquired during the course.
You have to take care of every single detail and present it enticingly. Everything that goes in the resume should be clear and to the point. You get several templates to create a resume. Always remember to save the resume with your name and the role you are applying for because let’s not forget we aren’t the only ones applying!
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5. Create a Portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of one’s work samples. Think of it as a shop window where you put your skills on display. Building a strong portfolio is very important to secure an internship. Always keep it raw, and value quality over quantity. Include your masterpieces that are capable of attracting attention. You can add the projects, writeups, photographs, artwork or research work that you’ve done during the duration of your college course.
These days you can create amazing portfolios online with Behance, Dribble, Contently, etc. They are user-friendly platforms that help one organise their work samples. Everything added to the portfolio should be to the point and reflect your personality. You can make your portfolio easily accessible by sharing it on social media or adding the link in your bio on Instagram or Facebook.
6. Social Platforms
The Internet has opened a vast number of opportunities, so why not make the best out of it? Multiple startups and firms post about the internship opportunities online and they use social media to promote them. Building a profile on LinkedIn which is a professional platform can be beneficial. It helps you find a job or an internship. You can make connections with people. Even, I came across the opportunity to intern at ShilpaAhuja.com through LinkedIn. You can follow firms and keep checking their pages.
7. Internship Search Sites
Other than the social media platforms, various websites help you find an internship. Internshala is one of the leading websites which is specifically curated to find an internship. Through these websites, you can directly apply to the firms which are rolling out internships and you can also track your application. Often there are messaging portals where you can speak to the HR of the company and share necessary documents.
Other similar websites are Killer Launch, Lets Intern, Hello Intern. While trying to find an internship through these websites you should fill your application thoughtfully and should be prepared to take an assessment. The best part is that most of the firms are verified by the websites.
How to Approach
Now, that you have an idea of how to find an internship, you need to know how to approach the firms. This is where your communication skills come into action. Write your application as if your fate depends on it, which is quite true. Whether it’s a cover letter or the questions listed in the form you’re asked to fill, it’s always a good idea to be subtle.
Satyam Saran, a chemical engineering intern who worked with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) says, “To get an internship at ONGC, I filled a form on their website. The thing with such firms is that you got to have good contacts and a NOC from your college.” Contacts go a long way when you’re trying to find an internship or a job.
If you’re applying through a contact or directly on the company’s website, the standard procedure is to find the email address of the company’s HR, and email them your resume, cover letter and if applicable, portfolio. You may be called in for an interview or test.
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What to Expect
What can you expect from an internship concerning the work hours, pay, and learnings? Let’s hear it from the interns! Ashish Satyam, a media student who interned at The Quint says, “My experience was exhilarating at first since I was a novice in the media world. But as I got to know the knack of things, I started adjusting slowly, I learned about the importance of punctuality, got to observe my editor closely. Even though I was taught things in college I found myself a bit confused in the professional world.”
“Your experience depends on your mentor. As a chemical engineering trainee, I worked around vessel designing software. It was a 9-5 job but you could take leaves if needed. It surely helps you gain knowledge about the office culture”, adds Saran. Internships mostly span for two to three months, some are paid whereas some are unpaid. While doing an unpaid internship you should make sure that you are the prime beneficiary. The stipend offered at the end of the internship depends on the firm and your job role. Towards the end of the internship, you are also expected to turn in an internship report where you mention the learning from the internship.
Additionally, You receive training sessions, get a chance to be a part of the group discussions, your work is reviewed by your mentor, who also helps you with the areas where you face difficulty.
Those were a few points on how to find an internship, plus you also know what are the things you can expect in an internship. If your senior or the managers of your firm admire your work during the internship then they are quick to offer you a permanent position, which you can take up after you finish college. Or, you can add the experience to your resume and apply for other jobs in the same area.
At times, people do more than one internship just to understand the work-life better, gain more exposure, and add to their existing experience. Lastly, if you’re considering a change of field, even then internships can be a good option. Let us know if these tips on how to find an internship were helpful to you by tweeting @CareerNuts.