Everything you need to know to get the most from your internship
Updated: Oct 6
The fall term is right around the corner and students are seeking internships that are remote. We here at Intern Pursuit wanted to take the time to talk about the importance of internships, what you should expect to gain from your internship, and how to find the perfect match. Internships are a vital part of college and in many cases required by schools. Advisors and professionals alike understand the importance of gaining on the job experience. Internships can help you discover what industry you truly want to be a part of as well as get a behind the scenes look at what it’s really like to hold a position you may desire.
First, and foremost; one of the most important things to understand is that there are many different types of internships that meet all kinds of different wants and needs. Internships vary industry to industry and company to company. They can differ in time, tasks, and compensation. The most important thing to remember however is that at the end of the day there should be some form of educational gain from the experience.
When it comes to the different kinds of internships one of the most available is an unpaid internship in which the intern should be compensated with education, experience, and networking. In an article we wrote in October of 2019, we detailed four important reasons why there is a lot of value to unpaid internships which include:
1) Quality mentoring,
2) Tangible learning experiences,
3) Real professional training, and
4) Potential job opportunity.
We highly recommend giving this article a read as it is an eye opening piece as to why you should not pass up an opportunity simply because it is unpaid. Below is a short excerpt from the article.
“You get real training in a real office with real employees. Simply put, internships are the best firsthand experience available to you. Without experience to fill your resume, employers will be skeptical of your qualifications and abilities to perform well as an employee. Internships can help you flesh out your resume and show real skills that you’ve attained through those experiences.” - Isabella Johnston ‘Why unpaid internships are valuable.’
The best way to get the most out of your internship is by ensuring that you are going into it with the right mindset. Internship hunting should be treated no different than job hunting. At the end of the day you are potentially coming across opportunities that will lead to a very promising future. You should enter this process with an open mind and positive attitude.
When it comes to looking for an internship there are many ways to go about it that we will discuss here in a moment. But first and foremost it is important to enter this process with an updated resume tailored to the industry you're in and the job you're looking for as well as with updated social media platforms. It is often an important step in an employers hiring process to look at potential candidates LinkedIn, Facebook, and even their Instagram. This is a great way for companies to field out what kind of person they may potentially have joining their team and representing them. It is of course a golden rule of thumb to post nothing anywhere that you wouldn’t want family, employers, and colleagues to see. It is recommended to do regular social media clean ups and look throughs to catch anything that may have slipped a first pass of judgment. This is wise to keep up with even when you are employed or not looking for a job or internship as you never know what peers and colleagues you have now that could become important players later own down the road at other companies and opportunities. This social media responsibility will only help in branding yourself as a great asset to any team.
Once you are prepared with a good resume and clean social media the next step is finding where to look and there are many places to do so. In the event that you are attending a college or university be sure to stay up to date with what job conventions and internship fairs they may be having. If you attend the University of Central Florida, they hold an internship fair every semester for their communication majors called, Intern Pursuit (the name is not associated with our company). Events like this are where many find their first internships.It is also wise to look online at the social media of companies you are interested in working with, there they may be advertising potential opportunities.
LinkedIn is a great social platform to try and connect with these companies and in many cases they may end up reaching out to you. This article is packed full of vital information you must know when starting this process of looking and we cannot stress enough the importance of giving it a read.
“Internship scams can be easier to spot than fake internships, so what happens when you realize you’ve been hired for a fake internship, like in the opening scenario? First of all, do some research and find out what tasks, projects, or help is expected of you and who will be in charge of teaching or mentoring you. If an employer is bringing you in because you have expertise in an area that they know nothing about, odds are the employer is taking advantage of you. You should also look at the employee to intern ratio. Is this a small company with way more interns than full-time employees? That should be a red flag since there may not be enough employees to properly mentor you and ensure that you are also benefiting from the internship.” - Amanda Covaleski, ‘How to spot a fake internship’
Finding the perfect internship can be tricky waters to navigate especially the first few times. Intern Pursuit wants to ensure that you are giving your information to the right people with the right intentions that will lead you to our great employers that display their Employers4Change badge. Start now by applying on our platform.
We are launching our platform with 100 top innovative companies that care about their teams and are excited to share their knowledge with interns that want to shape the future.
Apply here and learn more about what we can do to help you on a path that should be exciting and inspiring rather than scary and stressful!