Entering your final year of college can be overwhelming, especially with the pressure to submit your assignments on time, juggling part-time work, and studying for your exams. Still, one of the most daunting tasks of them all is finding a valuable internship. The struggle and competition of getting your "first" internship is real for everyone, but worry not; we have a compilation of all the right resources and actionable steps to get an internship and stand out with your search as a student.
What is an internship?
Internship in simple words is getting hands-on experience with a company or an organization for a brief period related to the desired role of the intern. Finding an internship can be another feather in the cap when securing a job or applying for colleges. Check out this article on 3 tips to get an internship on your own too!
Types of internship
There are mainly three types of internship that we are going to focus
A paid internship is typically a brief period during which you receive training for a specific position and a small compensation known as an internship stipend. It is an excellent way to get a taste of the real world of work. Most of the time, large businesses and corporations hire interns on a paid internship basis and then promote them to full-time employees based on their performance evaluations.
An unpaid internship is almost the same as a paid internship, but the only difference is that instead of an internship stipend, you are offered a certificate. Many nonprofit and voluntary organizations offer unpaid internships to students. These are great ways to highlight your social work and volunteer activities.
Summers are a great time to be productive and learn new skills, and the best way to do that is by finding an internship. Various companies and organizations offer 8-12 weeks of summer internships for students, where they are given hands on experience.
In Australia, many companies offer Internships all year round. There are many Internships in Australia available with host companies in IT, Engineering, Finance, Medical, Business and HR.
Why should you consider an internship?
Internships are a great breakthrough for your career, and there are multiple reasons why you should apply for one.
It gives you clarity on your career goals
If you are unsure about your career goals and want to explore what responsibilities you would like to take up at a job before committing to a full-time position, then internships can be the best place to start. Internships can be an excellent place to explore your potential and dislikes towards a particular career. While colleges help you to figure out where your interests lie, internships help you figure out responsibilities and roles that might not align with you.
It helps you in career transition
Earlier, career change used to be a scary decision; but through the courtesy of internships, such decisions have become easier to make. For instance, if you are an English major and find the marketing field exciting but have no marketing experience, you should consider getting an internship in a marketing role. There are plenty of internship opportunities available for everyone in any field.
Tip: Make sure you demonstrate adequate skills for the intern position.
It helps you to fast-track your career
The primary purpose of doing an internship is to build maximum credibility and professionalism in your profile. According to a survey conducted by NACE study 2019, "Amongst all the graduating students who applied for a full-time job, students who had an internship experience had higher chances of getting a job offer than those who did not". Internships count as work experience that helps you in the long run of your career; they increase your chances for better employment and even higher pay.
Acquire hands on practical experience
Internships help you measure your skills or the projects you have completed and take into account different aspects—for instance, your adaptability to stressful situations, time management, teamwork, leadership skills, etc. Working as an intern for a company helps you to get outside your college bubble and puts you into a real structured working environment.
One of the most important yet underrated career advice for fresh graduates is "building your own network", but you might ask, where and how can I start building one Well, internship tops the list when it comes to networking as a fresher; you get to meet professionals in your field.
How to get an internship in 5 easy steps
Students often follow the process of randomly applying for internships which results in outright rejections or doing internships that you don't want to do. To avoid this, we have set a solid framework for finding and applying for internships that suit your wants and needs.
Step 1: Research
The first step to getting "any internship" you want is to conduct thorough research on the companies you are interested in applying. Jot down all the companies and roles you would like to apply for and see if there are any vacancies for graduate internships. Go through the company's website and understand its requirements, goals, targets, work culture, and see if you share a mutually beneficial relationship.
Step 2: Reaching out
After completing your research, you can reach out to your network and check if you have possible connections in the company that can help you understand the process of applying, Internship opportunities, work environment, etc. Even if you don't have any connection, you can always start by making one by simply reaching out to them.
Step 3: Update your resume
A resume is just a mere reflection of your skills and experiences, and tweaking it according to the requirements of your intern responsibilities will help you stand out from the other applicants. Add any relevant information and experience that helps the hiring manager to make an informed decision while hiring you. If you want to know more about how to write a stellar resume for your, check out this blog.
Step 4: Complete your application
After completing your research, finding an internship, and updating your resume, it's time to apply. Make sure you fill in all the required information and attach a cover letter if required.
Tip: Do not ignore the importance of a cover letter, as it helps the hiring manager understand your motivation and expertise during the application process.
Suppose you are applying for a company with no current intern positions listed on its website. In that case, you can always send a cold email or contact the hiring manager via LinkedIn. In the email or message, apply a cover letter explaining why you are interested and what makes you a better fit for the position.
Step 5: Interview process
Internship interviews can be similar to job interviews; check out this blog to understand and prepare yourself with the common questions asked during an interview process.
Where to look for an internship?
Finding the best internship is not difficult if you look for them at the right places and apply the right strategies to get one. We have listed a few techniques that you can implement to get your first internship offer letter:
- Internship websites: Many websites are catered to providing internship opportunities for students. Students can scan through plenty of listings and choose the right internship. LinkedIn is one of the best and most trusted websites to get an internship.
- Career Fairs: If you are interested in graduate internships, you should visit your next career fair event. At such events, you will have the chance to interact with top MNC employers, HR managers, and many professionals looking to hire talented individuals.
- Career help and support: Keep an eye on the various internship opportunities posted regularly by your university career cell. University portals are a great way of helping you to explore, plan, and apply for internships.
- Other methods can be networking and reaching out to the employer, as explained in other points above.
Did you know that freelancing can also be considered as an internship? Check out our blog to learn about how to start freelancing as a student.
Tips for your first internship
If you are looking to find ways on how to look for internships follow the following tips:
- Make sure you take feedback from your colleagues and show constant improvement in your work.
- Ask questions if you are faced with a challenging task, and don't feel afraid to reach out to your colleagues if you have any doubts.
- Internships are considered work experience, so make sure you are professional.
- Take note of all your due dates and submissions and track your work.
- Finding an internship with intent is very important, whether it be networking or enhancing your skill set.
Tips on how to balance between work and study
It seems impossible to fit internships into your schedule while juggling a demanding college schedule.
Don't worry, though; we've got your back.
Many of us find it challenging to manage our studies and internships simultaneously, but learning a few tricks will make your routine more manageable. Here are a few pointers to help you master the art of balancing your work and study without burning you out.
- Schedule your daily tasks a day in advance
- Complete your tasks based on priority
- Make some time for yourself
- Learn about time management techniques
Internships are a great addition to your work experience; you should get a few under your belt during your college years. Now that you know how to find internships, make sure you research and apply to different intern roles and jobs. If you need additional education, immigration, or study abroad support, do check out our blog. Once your first pay comes in, you can pay off your bills, like your student accommodation rent, buy clothes, go to the movies, and a lot more!