Are you a student or recent graduate seeking entry-level internship experience? The WilsonHCG University Recruiting Committee recently discussed internship tips during the monthly #HireU Twitter chat. Professional recruiters around the globe connected with students and recent graduates to share advice on when and where to start searching for internships, how to determine the best internship fit for you, and more! Below are some key takeaways from the chat.
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When do I start looking?
Although the perfect timing will be specific for each individual and major, the overall consensus is the sooner the better! The more internships you are able to have throughout your college career, the more certain you will feel about the major you have chosen or the career path that you take. If your schedule permits, start your search during your sophomore year and plan to have your first internship when you are a junior. Then you can find a more industry-specific internship so you can get insight into future potential career opportunities.
What are the Best tools to find an internship?
There are a number of different online tools available: CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster and so on. However, one of the best ways to go about finding an internship is to get in touch with your university’s career services department. Typically, there are job fairs and events throughout the semester at which you can meet directly with companies to find out what opportunities they have available. In addition, career services offers help with resume building, mock interview practice and more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors as well to tap into their professional connections and networking opportunities.
Which internships do I apply for based on my skill set?
At the beginning of your search, start by just narrowing down to a few top industries that you are interested in. Once you begin to find jobs within those industries, read through job descriptions to get a better idea of day-to-day responsibilities. It is important that you are passionate about the position and that the role responsibilities will expand your skill set.
How do I land the internship?
There are a number of steps you can take before an interview in order to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates. It is important to conduct as much research as you can, not only on the company but on the interviewer as well. Check out the company website and accompanying social media or blog sites along with the LinkedIn profile of the person(s) who will be conducting your interview. This will show that you are highly interested and invested in the internship opportunity. In addition, take advantage of any tools offered up by your university’s career services team such as mock interviews, resume editing and interview etiquette.
how Do I convert an internship into a full-time career?
At the beginning of an internship, it is important to set professional goals to strive for throughout the internship period. If you have specific milestones to reach, you will work harder to meet and exceed expectations. Be sure to foster and build a relationship not only with your manager but with other employees within the company; this communication and networking is key! Throughout the internship, there may be opportunities to work on stretch projects or to learn more about a specific area of the business. Be sure to volunteer for anything that will increase your visibility and knowledge of the company. The more value that you can bring to the table throughout an internship, the better.
How do I apply my internship experience to my university life and future career?
An internship is a learning opportunity. After the completion of the internship, reflect on what you enjoyed and did not enjoy throughout the experience. This will help you further narrow down the jobs that you want to target in your future career. Take what you learned and build from that foundation.
Overall, the Twitter chat produced some great global insight on internships. Our chat can be found on TWUBS and on Twitter by using the hashtag #HireU. If you missed this one, be sure to join us next time! The University Recruitment Committee will host a Twitter chat every month to discuss issues of interest to millennials entering the workforce. Future topics will be announced on Twitter through the @WilsonHCGcareer handle.