(We want to introduce you to our newest employee at Leadhub, Mitchell Coker! Mitchell is a former student of mine and intern here at Leadhub, so he has some advice on how to make the most of an internship. Take it away, Mitchell!)
Here you are – a recent graduate or soon-to-be graduate. You’ve decided what you want to do with your degree. But there is one thing you need before you can conquer the world – experience. We’ve all been there before. Your dream job is available, and you’re sure you are the best candidate. But they want someone with more job-related experience. This is where an internship would help you fill in those requirements. This article will hopefully help you with some common questions surrounding internships.
What is the difference between a good and a great internship?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that interns have the stereotype of free errand runners who are given nothing but busy work. Horror stories like these are, sadly, true – but not common. The Muse has a great article going into more depth about these problems and how to avoid them. While this is an example of a bad internship, it could still be worth the trouble if you survive it. Things are always what you make of them, and opportunity is no exception.
Just as bad internships are out there, so are great ones! Internships are great for a plethora of reasons -some being available job trainings, hands-on work or being able to shadow someone who ends up being a life-long mentor. My internship here at Leadhub checked many of those boxes. I was able to openly express ideas and voice concerns in a supportive environment. Great internships are more than just beefing up your resume. They also allow you to learn more about your career. So take advantage of this when you find an awesome internship.
How do I find the best internship for me?
You’ve decided you want an internship, now where do you find one? While there are so many different outlets to search for internship opportunities, there are a couple of routes that are more efficient.
- Check online job sites: This one might sound obvious, but sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn and Chegg are great places to start.
- Contact a company directly: Calling, emailing or simply walking in and speaking with someone is an awesome way to stand out and create a connection or a leg up on any competition for the same position. While these might seem daunting at first, they will become easier.
- Go through your university: During your time in college, you’ll be surround by people who can help you find an internship. Classmates might know of leads, or your university might have an employment or career center. In my case, my professor mentioned an opportunity, and I made sure to speak with him after class.
While my professor was the one who helped me out, your way in the door may differ. Just because one method might be a dead end, keep searching and your determination will pay off.
I was lucky enough to land in a great company, working with very knowledgeable people. My internship was not only a gold star on my resume, but it was also how I got my foot in the door, which led to my eventual full-time position. Not every internship will result in a position with that company, but it will help add experience and create connections. So get out there and find an internship that’s best for you – and land that dream job.