Internships and how to get them

For multiple majors in college there is a requirement to gain internship hours, but if your major doesn’t require you to, is it worth your time to search for one? In short, absolutely. An internship can give you valuable experience in your field and may end in a job offer. It may seem obvious to simply start searching on sites like Indeed and Monster, but there are some steps in between that may come in handy.

Know yourself

The first step in any move forward is to know yourself and know what you want. You should ask yourself, “Is an internship valuable to me in my field?” and, “What do I want to get out of an internship?” This step is also where you should evaluate yourself. What are you good at? What are you interested in?

Treat this step like an interview of yourself. Contemplate possible questions that an employer may ask you and practice your responses. This will help you prepare for a future interview but it will also help you determine what it is you’re looking for.

Know where you want to work

This is a step that is skipped in many job searches. Do your research into each company that you’re interested in and determine if your values, interests, and motivations line up with theirs. While internships are valuable, you will get more out of the internship if you believe in the same ideals that the company does. This can also be a determinant for the company possibly hiring you when the internship is over.

Along with researching the company that you would like to work for, it is also important to think about its location. Are you willing to travel? If so, where to? If the internship is for the summer in another state, would you be willing to move there?

Get ready for the search

Creating a new resume can be a hassle, but keeping your experience, education, qualifications, skills, etc. in a document can make your life a whole lot easier. With this comprehensive resume, you’ll be able to create resumes that best suit the job that you’re applying to. WOU’s Service Learning and Career Development office (SLCD) can help you along the way with resume building, and with interview practice.

Start searching

After you’ve gotten yourself prepared, the internship search becomes much easier. Apply the requirements that you’ve set up. What? Where? When? Now that you know your qualifications your internship search can be more specific.

A good place to start is through WolfLink on your PortalYou can set your parameters to on-campus, or internship, but can also be a place to start for looking for jobs and volunteer work.

A more in depth checklist from SLCD can be found here

SLCD offers many helpful services that can help you while you’re here at Western, and prepare you for life outside of it. One of the services that SLCD offers is internship search help. You can make an appointment with SLCD here.

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