Internships are invaluable experiences that offer countless benefits. Not only do they prepare you for working in the real world, but they also teach career specific skills and look great on a resume. Often, they can even lead to a job. While most colleges have an internship office, students may struggle with finding an internship that embodies their aspirations and skills. If finding such a fit is proving to be problematic, you may need to do a little searching on your own.
An article in the Wall Street Journal expands on this idea. “Students Craft Their own Internships to fit Interests,” discusses the journey of a student who tailored her own internship to combine her passions for hip-hop and helping children. The tips relayed in the article include sending out cover letters and resumes to companies who may not be offering internships. In this case, the student sent her information out to nonprofit art-education groups.
I also suggest going online and searching for companies that fit your interests. They may be offering internships that are not on file with your school’s office. Even if they do not have one posted, you should still send them your resume and cover letter. Don’t shy away from out of state internships either. If you cannot travel to their location, the company may be willing to work with you remotely.
Remember that many companies, especially non-profits, may not have the funds to offer a paid internship. The experience you take away, however, will be well worth it. Doing something you enjoy while gaining immeasurable resume-building knowledge and expertise will more than compensate you for your time.
In what ways do I want to grow professionally and personally through my internship? How can I convey that to my manager?
Who is one person who can be my mentor during my internship? What can I learn from them and how can I help them?
In what ways can my internship simulate the person I most want to be in my job out of college? Who can give me valuable feedback on my work during the internship?