Internship experience can give you an edge in landing a professional job, particularly your first. But consider this: In many cases, the competition for landing an internship can be as steep as the competition for landing a job. Therefore, those with experience will have an advantage. Even if education is your current, full-time focus, you can still work at positioning yourself to land an internship. Here are some ideas:
- Volunteer your time and services to a non-profit organization. Specifically look for opportunities that may strengthen key skills valued in your chosen profession, for example, project management, communication, and even overseeing a small budget.
- Offer to assist with a task or research project within your college of study or another department of interest. Depending on your class standing, check into teaching assistant or tutoring opportunities.
- Take on as many lead project roles as possible, whether at college, part-time job or volunteer position, and document key accomplishments in your resume. If applicable, pull together project documentation and results for inclusion in a portfolio.
- Demonstrate that you are well-rounded by becoming involved in clubs or groups within your professional or recreational areas of interest.
- Work a part-time or summer job to demonstrate responsibility and a good work ethic. Almost any work experience will be viewed as valuable. If appropriate, ask your supervisor to write you a letter of recommendation.
- Pursue a job-shadowing opportunity in your field or industry of interest.
- Identify a few target companies relating to your profession and then approach these companies offering to do some general office, shop, or warehouse work. If necessary, consider whether you can afford to do some unpaid work in return for gaining experience and broadening your professional contact base.