Photo by Debralee Best, RIA-JMTC

5 tips for navigating internships

February 12, 2018 - 3:59 pm

Taking an internship while in school is a great way for you to discover career opportunities as well as to build on your skills and experiences for future employment. Here are five tips for internships:

1. Picking the right internship

Find an internship that will give you the opportunity to grow in knowledge and experience in your desired career field. Look at companies or organizations that are doing work that interests you. An internship may also lead to a full-time job offer later on, so you’ll want to take advantage of networking while you’re there.

2. Put internship deadlines on your calendar

You’ll probably want to apply to several internships, so tracking the deadlines on a calendar will make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to apply.

3. Get applications in early

After you figure out when your applications are due, make sure you get the necessary paperwork sent in as early as possible. Some could require recommendations by teachers/colleagues and you don’t want to ask for those at the last minute.

4. Your essay/cover letter

Your cover letter or essay for the internship is your opportunity to talk about you. NPR has a great article on what they look for in an applicant’s cover letter, such as telling a story about yourself that relates to your skills and experiences.

5. Funding for unpaid internships

Getting a paid internship is ideal but if your only options are unpaid, check with your academic department, university, or state to see what scholarships or grants are available to offset the costs. Also look for these financial resources if you need some additional funds to pay for costs like commuting or a new wardrobe.