Internships are an integral part of any college experience because they allow you to test out the different careers you can apply your degree to. It's also crucial for making connections and networking, so you'll have valuable references to help you land your dream job.
I have had two internships so far, and I think it was the best decision of my life to apply for them. I interned at a publishing house during my third year and in a newsroom for the summer after graduation.
Besides the fact that I now have something to put on my resume, I also gained some valuable insight into the field that I thought I wanted to go into.
When I was in university, my program didn't have a mandatory internship requirement to it, so I never really considered looking for an internship until I was well into my third year. That was a huge mistake.
Just because your program might not require an internship doesn't mean you don't need one. You should start looking for an internship from the very first day you step foot on campus.
So, here are some tips on how to get that desired internship before time runs out.
1. Build your resume through your school's extracurricular activities.
If you want to become a writer or a journalist, it's a must that you join the school newspaper. If you want to go into fashion it might be wise that you participate in the school fashion show.
If there's no club that you're interested in or that's in your area, start one. Being a founder of any group shows initiative and leadership while looking great on a resume.
2. Become a "yes man" for opportunities.
If you want to intern somewhere that's difficult to get into, don't focus all your attention and energy only on getting that internship.
It's important to understand that getting at least some type of experience rather than focusing on something that's out-of-reach is better in the long run.
If you manage to get an internship every year, it might actually be possible for you to obtain the dream internship after you already have some experience down on your resume.
3. Show initiative.
Some programs require you to get an internship and have a listing of opportunities mailed out to the students in the program. Unfortunately, not everyone's that lucky.
It's up to you to find a place that offers internships. Reach out to the companies, call them, email them and try to get them to give you a chance.
It's important to be persistent.
4. Talk to your professors.
Go to your professors' office hours. If your program doesn't offer internships but another program does, go visit the head of that department.
Ask to be included on any internship email list so you can be notified of any opportunities that could be relevant to you.
It's OK to ask for advice from your professors. They are there to help you.
Your professor might have a friend in the industry who might need an intern or who can act as a mentor.
Getting an internship during your time in university is a must. It is very important to test out whether you actually like the field that you're going into, rather than pursuing something that you vaguely know about.
Your internship might shine some light on what you actually want to pursue in life, in addition to getting those skills that employers are looking for.
**Originally written by Lizzie Poliakova on Unwritten.