Ok get this – what if i told you there was a way to make solid money, get some “real world” experience AND beef up your resume.
Well, that is called a paid internship and you need one in your life, ASAP. Emphasis on “paid” because I think unpaid internships are a total scam and should be illegal! But today I’m giving you the full deal on paid internships and how to score your first one.
Why You Need One
First of all, paid internships are PAID which is reason enough to want one. Most internships pay at least minimum wage, and many will pay more depending on the industry you’re in. So right off the bat, you’re making probably as much as a part time job, but you also get the experience of working in the “real world”.
Internships give you the opportunity to learn things you won’t in a classroom, like how to work with colleagues, present to managers, communicate with a team, prioritize certain projects, etc. It also gives you a few months to test out a job you think you might like, and see if it’s actually right for you. So many times, you can take classes in a certain subject and think you love it, but when you spend time working in that field, you realize you actually hate it.
Because internships are temporary, if you take one and realize you don’t like the work, it’s no big deal! You finish it up, still make decent money and end off knowing you’re one step closer to finding your dream job! The experiences internships give you are SO important over the course of your college years and can really help guide you and give you clarity.
How to Get One
Okay, maybe I convinced you to get a paid internship. Awesome. But how do you even get one? Excellent question. The truth is that they can be difficult to get, but if you know the right tricks, it’s totally possible!
The first thing you need to do is flex your connections. The harsh reality is people are likely to hire students they have a connection to, so find a connection to your dream company and start speaking with them to connect you with a recruiter, refer you for the internship, or even make a role for you. This can be your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, friends parents, someone you babysit for – literally anyone!
If you don’t have connections, then make some! The easiest way to do this is by using LinkedIn to find past interns from your dream company, ask them how they liked their internship, how they got it, and what you could do to impress the company. If you can’t find a past intern, find any employee in your dream department and ask them whether they offer internships, what their work is like, and the next steps you should take to join their team. Maybe even ask if they know a recruiter they could put you in touch with! Honestly, I know it is SO awkward to message strangers, but put yourself out there and know that the worst they can say is no!
Okay so hopefully by now you have a connection, but that only goes so far. Time to make sure your resume and cover letter are fire. Yup. Time to schedule an appointment with Karen in the career center to help you look over your resume. Also, do your research, because I hate to be the one to tell you this, but format, spelling, punctuation and even including one more skill can be the difference between getting an internship and not. It is so tricky and honestly annoying but you need to get in the mindset of a recruiter and know what they want to see.
Once you have used your connections and resume set up, there’s only one thing left to do – apply! My favorite websites to find internships on are Indeed.com, Glassdoor, and Linkedin but just googling “Business internships” works too! Do NOT just apply to one internship and hope it works out, apply to at least 20!! Apply, apply and keep applying until you get an offer to one! You never know what a company is looking for, and your perfect company is just waiting for you to submit your application!
So what are you waiting for? Start building up your connections, fixing your resume and applying to internships today. Let us know if you have any questions, need an extra opinion on your resume, or want a cover letter template! Or tell us how you snagged your best paid internship for a feature in a future article!