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What is the best way to find good internship opportunities once you are in college?

One of the first things I ask college counselors is the internship opportunities they are able to connect students with, but a lot of my favorite schools seem to leave that up to the students all together. So what can I do to make sure I am placing myself in the best position to obtain an internship opportunity that will help prepare me for my career? #college #career #career-counseling #internships #job-search #internship

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Subject: Career question for you

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Scott’s Answer

That is a really great question Nicholas! Internship experience is likely at the top of the list that employers look for when they are hiring candidates out of college. 

Ideally the school you choose to attend will have a career center or specific college administrator that will assist you in finding internship opportunities. However, if that does not end up being the case, the most important way you can find internships is networking. This includes asking friends, family, friends of friends, or even asking around your school to see if they know of any opportunities. Even if they don't have anything right now, they can always keep you in mind in case an opportunity comes up.

If that does not work right away, I would research companies that you would want to work for and try to see if you can find out what they are looking for in their candidates. Volunteer experience or other work experience outside of your field of study might help you appear as a more well-rounded individual when applying for these internships.

My last piece of advice is to be persistent! It is not always easy to find internships but if you continue to work at it and ask around, something should eventually present itself.

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Nicholas!


You asked a very interesting question.


The best thing to do is create your own. Here is why I say that. The biggest and most exciting part of my daughter's senior year in high school was supposed to be the senior project, an internship like affair during the last six weeks of school. Everyone had made their desires known and were waiting for their program to be announced and arranged. Hers did not pan out, so she had to take a second best offer, as did many of the kids. This meant that they saw the highlight of their senior year crash and burn, so to speak. Except for one girl!!! She had wanted to do her program with a local EMT unit. So, she had approached the unit and arranged with the school to make that her senior project. She was the one who had the very best experience out of any one in her class, because she had sought it out and planned it.


You can do the same thing in college. One of the best things to do is to work with the director of the alumni relations department of the school that you intend to attend, even before you make your decision to attend and even before you apply. The head of the alumni relations department knows where all of the graduates are and knows what they are doing. This person can put you in contact with a graduate of that school who graduated in your career area of interest who may be working near where you are living or going to school. This is a very good way to get to know about the school, the career area, and develop relationships that will positively affect your education and career. By working with these people you can pretty much tailor make your own internship. You are the master or your own ship - take the helm. Your school counselors and favorite teachers and professors can also help.


Another way is to locate professional organizations in your area or the area of your school to which people working in your career area of interest may belong so that you can work with them. Many times they have internships available, or you can work with them to create one for you. The librarian at your local library can help you find such organizations. They are very welcoming to students interested in their career area. Many times there are student chapters on campus.


Also, here is a good site for finding internships:
http://www.fastweb.com/


Remember, the more action and ownership that you take towards your education and career exploration, the greater the rewards and the greater the possibility of ending up in a fulfilling career. Also remember, finding an appropriate career is like buying a pair of shoes, you must try them on and walk in them for a while to make sure of the comfort and fit.


Best of luck! Please let me know if this helps. I would like to follow your progress. Please keep me informed.

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