It's Not Too Early to Start Your Summer Internship Search
It’s the beginning of the Fall semester, but if you hope to have an internship next summer, the time to start planning is now. Here are some things to keep in mind when kicking off your search.
I cannot stress the importance of diving in as soon as possible to potential opportunities. I recently completed my sophomore year at Indiana University and did not start my internship search until about midway through second semester. This was a huge mistake because I was stressed out about finding an internship as finals approached. I thought I had an internship secured at a company that ended up not finalizing their internship program until the start of summer. As spring break approached, I knew I needed to get serious about pursuing other opportunities. When your school tells you recruiting is in the Fall, they really mean it. When I finally got on the job board site for my school’s career center, there was almost nothing left. I knew I was late to the game at this point.
After applying for a couple of internships at my school’s career center, I began to explore the web. I would advise anyone who does this to apply for everything they see that remotely sounds like something they might want to do. The biggest issue I found with online job applications from websites is that they almost never got back to you whether it was good news or bad news. Another issue is that internships were posted when the position had already been filled. (This is another reason I would really recommend heading to your career service office in the Fall when there are more opportunities and reliable postings through school services.) The internet is filled with a lot of junk jobs and internships, however that doesn’t mean the perfect job for you is not waiting out there. I ended up receiving an accounting internship offer from a listing I found online. Although I did not accept the offer, researching and interviewing with the company was still a great experience.
Utilize family and friends
If you are looking for an internship, friends and family are a huge resource. It is important to reach out because you never know the connections they might have. They really helped me feel more comfortable about my search. I ended up finding my internship through a family friend.
Honesty is the best policy
One of the most important things I learned in my search for an internship was that it is important to be open and honest with employers. I had a final interview for one company the same day my offer was expiring at another company that had extended my offer deadline. This was a nerve-wracking day for me as I was balancing the two companies. Thankfully my honesty with both companies about my situation paid off and I received an offer on the spot from my top choice. In the end I had a great experience interning for the Commerce Trust Company in St. Louis and I had a family friend just one floor away.
You can start now to secure a great internship. Utilize your campus career center, search online, and put the word out to family and friends. Hopefully, your advance preparations will lead to a rewarding internship next summer!