Did you know that 60-70 percent of students who intern become employed faster than those who don’t?
What is an internship?
According to the National Association of Colleges and Universities (NACE), an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths. With an internship you can:
- Gain firsthand experience in your field of study and in an occupation of your interest
- Develop your professional skills and work habits
- Build your self-confidence and practical skills
- Learn about an occupation and clarify your career goal
- Build valuable network of connections
- Demonstrate your knowledge and increase chances of getting hired
How do you find an internship?
Certain FPU programs require internships, and those departments coordinate their own internships. Check the internship requirements with your academic program advisor. If your program does not require an internship, consider doing one. A meaningful internship allows you to put into practice your knowledge and skills. To get the best of your internship experience consider these questions:
- What are the requirements of your academic program internship?
- What do you want to learn? What assignments or projects would you like to complete during your internship?
- Which industry/occupation do you want to intern?
- What knowledge, skills and competencies have you gained through your courses?
Direct Search Approach
You are more likely to be successful obtaining an internship through direct forms (the hidden market) than through announcements that everybody knows about, as they are more competitive. Make a list of everyone you know and begin contacting them to see if they might be able to introduce you to someone who can lead you to an internship, this is particularly important because internship opportunities may not be announced to the public. Listed below are ideas to start your internship direct search approach:
- Family and friends
- Degree program professors/faculty
- Career Development Center
- FPU alumni network
- Job and career fairs
- Networking events
- Professional associations
Online Search Approach
An online search can lead you to an internship, but it is much more competitive in nature because everyone knows of the announced internships. You should spend approximately 20 percent of your time on online searches and the rest on direct search approaches. Start your internship search with Handshake-FPU’s job board, where employers are looking to recruit students like you. Then, expand your online search by visiting the website of employers of your interest.
- Handshake – FPU’s internship and job listing board
- Parker Dewey – paid micro-internships in a variety of career paths
- LinkedIn – internship and job search
Do you need support with your internship search? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment with a career counselor.