Securing Your Internship Placement
At the last lap of your degree or diploma, you are often required to do a professional internship, counting towards the credits for your course. You will be spending 10 precious weeks or up to half a year at the internship company. Make the best out of your time to gain the most out of the internship by finding the right placement for yourself.
1. Find a company that helps you grow
You need to find an internship that will help you in your career path, letting you pick up and apply skills in your desired area of work. Identify the key skill sets or areas of interest that you wish to grow in, then choose a company that is strong in these areas and make a conscious effort to keep improving your skills in the course of your internship. Keep track on your progress, so that by the end of the internship, you would have already mastered these skills.
2. Seek advice from your seniors
Seniors in your course are the best people you can ask regarding coursework internship experiences. They can recommend the type of companies suitable for your interest and offer insights on the companies that they have interned at. A former intern’s point of view will definitely help you in terms of knowing what you can expect and what is expected of you!
3. Research on and apply to a list of companies
Rejection or a lack of reply is common for internship applications. Remember that there are many student candidates applying at the same time and companies do not have that many internship openings.
The key is to apply to as many companies as possible and state your interest in doing an internship with them. Read up on relevant companies and organise your shortlist during the application stage, so that you can track your applications sent out.
The research comes in handy when you need to attend an interview for some of these applications. Be sure to understand the company’s operations and prepare yourself for possible interview questions .
4. Talk to people in the industry
There is nothing like getting first-hand information from professionals who are already in the industry that you are interested in. They could be from your personal network or anyone new that you meet while exploring potential career pathways. Speaking to anyone with some experience or experts in their fields will be immensely useful for you, as a student seeking to build your own expertise through an internship.
5. Attend career fairs
If you want to check out a wide range of employers, be sure to attend career fairs. You get to talk to as many employers as you wish, on job prospects. At the same time, you can scout for job openings. When speaking to recruiters and staff at career fair booths, ask them as many questions as possible regarding the job and the company. Don’t forget to always bring copies of your resume for the recruiters. Update your resume constantly so that you can send the electronic versions to recruiters whom you meet through career fairs as well.
It is never too late to start planning where you wish to do your coursework internship, be it locally or abroad. It could be your best chance to set foot in a dream company or in an area of work which you are passionate about – so give it some thought, and act on it!