Best way to prepare for a job!
What better way to learn about a prospective field or career than through an internship? I am a big believer in internships, having done my first internship (yes, all those years ago) working as an intern for the Governor’s Office. And I did survive being a Gator in Tally! It was an amazing experience and I truly believe it helped me to get my first job out of college. Yes, internships allow students to learn from the business side of the aisle. But they also help them figure out, while still in school, whether the career they envisioned for themselves all along may — or may not — be just what they want. The question, then, is how to find an internship.
HaveUHeard which companies were selected as the 100 best internship programs in the U.S.? WayUp presents their Top 100. Vault also has their list of the Top 20 Most Prestigious Internship Programs for 2020.
I’m not going to lie…if you know someone, NOW is always a good time to put the word out that your student is looking. My older daughter got her summer internship at Shape Magazine because my friend’s daughter worked for them. The two of them spoke on the phone and my daughter’s resume made its way to the right person. She landed an internship in NYC and what she did not earn financially was more than made up for with real-life experience. Even more, that position looked great on her resume. Don’t worry; many internships do pay.
My younger daughter, an advertising major, got her internship in February but many of her friends got theirs in March and April. Those majoring in accounting, finance, and business tend to secure internships in late fall. Students looking for internships through a government entity have to start the application process way ahead of time — as soon as the fall semester starts for a summer position.
If an Internship in DC is more in line with your Gator’s thinking, have them take a look at The Washington Center (TWC). TWC has a wide variety of internships available for almost every major. Your student can also reach out to the office of a congressperson who represents their home voting district or seek out the many Federal agencies that offer internship programs, such as the U.S. Department of State. There is an active group of Gator Alums in the DC area that might also offer insight and leads. See our blog on alumni associations for more information about finding those kinds of connections.
Help from UF
UF’s Career Connections Center offers students assistance in searching for internships and jobs, signing up for events and interviews, and career counseling. In addition, they run various career and internship fairs throughout the school year. These are a great resource! The Fall 2020 Career Showcase is scheduled for September 21st through September 24, 2020, and will be held from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm each day in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen O’Connell Center. Professional attire for these fairs is recommended. Bring a copy of your updated resume and do your research about the employers that will be there. A list of the employers who will be attending can be obtained by logging in to their student Gator Career Link.
Internships via the Internet Route
There are also many websites that list potential internships. Internships.com (as most of the sites do) allows students to enter their city and field of choice along with whether or not they are looking for paid and/or unpaid internships. From there, a proper cover letter and resume is the next step. The prospective employer might request a virtual interview. Using sites like Indeed or SimplyHired might be worth a try. But, in all honesty, spending a lot of time on these sites to simply hit the “apply” button and have their resume sent sailing off into the great wide internet web doesn’t generally prove all that successful. Candidly, most of these positions get filled by students with a more personal connection.
Some websites, like Internmatch.com, allow students to sign up to get daily notifications for new postings about jobs that may be of interest to them. Glassdoor.com and YouTern.com are also useful websites to find an internship. FindSpark.com is better known for its more creative internships and entry-level jobs in NYC.
Are you linked?
LinkedIn can be an excellent resource. Perhaps your student saw a position at a company they are interested in at one of the above sites. By then scouring LinkedIn, they might be able to make a connection. My daughter found that she had a second connection to someone who worked at the company where she was applying for an internship. The connection was in the same sorority as my internship-seeking daughter…as well as her sister. That secondary connection turned out to be someone who is directly connected to her sister through that sorority affiliation. This led to her sister ‘e-introducing’ them, followed by a subsequent phone conversation.
To search for internship listings, be sure to have a detailed and updated LinkedIn page ready to go. You’ll start by clicking on the jobs tab at the top of the page, then put “internship” in the search box. Refine your search by filling in the boxes on the left side of the page. Some students are creating their own videos or websites to show off their experience and skills. It can be better than a long portfolio that might exceed the amount of space allotted for uploaded information. Admittedly, this approach works better for some majors than others.
A LinkedIn Jobseeker account allows you to view profiles and send InMail messages starting from $29.95 per month. HaveUHeard that LinkedIn has a version specifically designed for students looking for their first jobs? The LinkedIn Students app is free. It lets you research jobs, view companies where alumni from your school work, and connect with more people. Create an account and get started right away without spending a dime.
Should your internship take you out of state, learn more about housing options.
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