This summer, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work here at Jungle Communications as a Social media intern, working on a variety of projects and tasks. My position at Jungle is my first official internship experience, and so I know a thing or two about how difficult the process of actually finding and landing an internship can be for students. Today marks my last day at Jungle and so I wanted to share some advice on navigating the internship process that helped me get here. So here are 5 tips to simplify and save you time in the process of finding an internship!
1. Start searching early
Get a head start on your internship search because there will always be thousands of students out there fighting for the same positions as you. This isn’t to say that you won’t be able to find one if you’re a little late in the game, because some positions will open up last minute for projects that need help, but it is always better to be early rather than late. This ESPECIALLY applies for positions that are on or near your campus, because you’ll be dealing with every student at your school who wants that same, very convenient position.
2. Use your connections for help
Networking and having connections might single-handedly be the most important aspect of finding any job/internship.The connections you’ve made and the relationships you’ve formed are often your best resource for finding your way into a new job. In fact, research shows that more than 70% of professionals get hired at companies where they have a personal connection. Additionally, job candidates who are referred by an employee are 8 times more likely to get hired. This means going to networking events to talk to professionals in your field, and of course, friends, family, and previous bosses, they can all help you go further. This is speaking from experience. You never know who someone else knows!
3. Don’t just look for positions from the big names
It’s tempting to go straight for the companies that everyone knows and has heard of, but you might be limiting yourself to so many other opportunities! Working for a smaller-sized company or a start-up will make you more resourceful and give you more chances to take on a leadership role. You’ll be a part of a small team that relies on you to do your part and take on different responsibilities, not just pick up a coffee!
4. Apply to positions that will benefit and teach you something
To find the right internship for you, think about fields that you want to explore or skills you want to learn. This experience is meant to teach you new things, not to just look good on paper. So have some clear goals in mind as it’ll make you more likely to find an internship you can get excited about!
5. Be open-minded
Many people have a preconceived idea of how their life should be and that includes the “right internship(s)” for their future career. However, unexpected opportunities may come that can radically change the direction of your set approach. So instead of being narrow-minded and rejecting something because it doesn’t fit in your plan, be open and consider any offer that might add value to your career path. Everything is either a lesson or a blessing!
Internships are quickly becoming essential for any job and can offer a lot of experience to students hoping to get ahead. One of the best things during my time here, for me, was that the nature of the work was extremely open-ended and allowed me to use my own voice and creativity. I would recommend everyone to take the opportunity to do an internship, short-term or long-term, as there is so much to gain from it on both a professional and personal level. Good Luck!