An internship is a great source of networking and where you can easily gain career experience. Networking and experience contribute to confidence that is important for your future profession. Before searching for an internship you must determine what field you’re interested in, such as medical, technology, financial services, education, sales, consulting, engineering, or management. This could be based on a major, if currently a student, or a passion that you are uncertain to make into a career.
If you are like me, most of your life you had a plan and if that plan did not work out there is a back-up plan ready to take its place. I found myself in my senior year of college debating on my major, which would soon become my career. Accounting is a career that is not easily attained, requiring certification and continuing education. It required commitment and dedication, not uncertainty and doubt.
If you are uncertain or even indifferent about future career plans an internship will eliminate the confusion and help you discover your professional path. Here are five places to look for a good internship.
Referral from a Professional: Many majors require an internship so they could refer you to a local business. Forensic Science, my second major, requires each student to participate in a practicum, individual study, internship, or study tour. After applying for the internship program through the Forensic Science Institute, they chose a local accounting firm where I would complete 120 hours.
Unless your major does not require an internship, then it would be your responsibility to ask career services at your university or professors. If you are not currently enrolled in school or are seeking your passion, asking professionals in the field at an internship or career fair for opportunities would be the best option.
Internship or Career Fair: If you are currently employed, but the employment does not pertain to your potential career, attending an internship or career fair would be a great first step to discovering your passion. You are able to gain experience with a paid internship and do not need a degree. Internship and career fairs are hosted at universities or in your local community.
Volunteering: Volunteering is similar to an internship and helps you to understand what you enjoy and possibly what you dislike. Volunteering can be a short commitment or longer depending on the place. Sometimes volunteer opportunities turn into internships or job offers.
Networking: Interacting with professionals and exchanging information to develop contacts is essential to your career. This will provide multiple possibilities now and later in your profession. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social-networking service that allows company recruiters to review your information and contact you if interested in your employment. Also, it provides dates and locations of internship and career fairs in your area. LinkedIn has groups that you can join that post advice about your current field. Another great website is InternMatch, which can assist you with relocating to another state for an internship.
Future Employer: An internship is an option if you know the company you would like to work for is not able to hire at the moment. This would be similar to contract work, which in many instances results in a full-time position.