What Can Internships Do for You?
Internships are a no-brainer. Some are paid and some are not. But the benefits are worth it, if you choose your internship wisely.
- An internship in a field of interest can help you clarify your career interests or it can help you realize it’s not what you thought it was.
- An internship provides real-world experience. Not only do you learn hands-on skills in the field, you learn soft skills which are much easier to learn while “on the job.” Employers increasingly focus on the need for soft-skills such as interpersonal and communication skills, teamwork and flexibility, self-discipline and time management, critical thinking and leadership. You will have opportunities to develop these in an internship that you won’t have in class.
- An internship will help you develop greater self-confidence and the ability to speak about your field intelligently. You will stand out in interviews and have a headstart in your career because you will have greater poise, confidence, and knowledge than many other new hires.
- An internship is an incredible networking opportunity. You will make connections that could open doors for you in the future. Internships often end in job offers from the company you worked for. At the very least, you will be able to get a good recommendation to college or another company.
The sooner you can start the better. Finding an internship in high school will help you clarify the major and the college you want to attend while making you much more attractive to the college of your choice. It will also make you a top choice for college-level internships, since you’ve proven your skills and your commitment to the field.
Too late to intern in high school? Don’t worry. Most internships are directed towards college students. College is a perfect time to intern, because you’re closer to your future career and can now narrow your field of interest, giving you a clearer idea of where you want to apply for work. Since you’re ready to head out into the workforce, begin networking immediately. Build your Linkedin Profile and/or your creative portfolio. Find just a few people you would like to chat with about their own careers and ask them for 15 minutes of them time. Older, wiser professionals will generally love talking to younger career starters. It makes them feel like a Mentor and that’s a good feeling.
Remember that you’ll need to create a resume and cover letter specially geared towards each internship. Highlight your strengths and interests and why you are interested in that position. Always, always customized each letter. Explain what you hope to learn from the internship and how you hope to help them. Remember, it’s not all about you. Show how giving you the internship will benefit them, too. If you’re a high school student, you may be competing with college students, so demonstrate your maturity and your suitability for the position despite your age.
Finding and landing internships can be tricky. If you need help, please reach out to us. We have a passion for working with young adults, and the personal and professional experience to help you find and successfully apply to the right internships for you.