Schools Training

Land an Internship Before You Graduate College

13 JAN 2014
Career Path : Career Tips

A college degree represents a gateway to success, but if you’ve done most of the work to graduate and can spend the next year or two taking it easy, you may want to consider skipping a few parties in order to find yourself an internship. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for college graduates has risen to above 12%, higher than the national average, while even advanced degree-holders have an unemployment rate of 8%. An internship helps you rise above your competition and get a job–hopefully a good paying job. However, you should start to prepare now, before you finish your education.

Find A Job Fair
Many colleges go out of their way to help their students connect with employers. Nearly all will devote time during the year to hosting a job fair where businesses and companies will review applicants for prospective employment. Forbes suggests that you prepare five to ten examples of your skills and accomplishments, since a job seeker usually only has a few minutes to make an impact. Make sure you bring a copy of an updated resume that highlights your capabilities. Even if you have minimal job experience, use your resume to address professional skills learned in college, such as statistical analysis, teamwork and leadership opportunities, persuasive writing, and deadlines. Your resume can include information on how you overcame obstacles in previous jobs you have held. You can use a resource like NationalCareerFairs.com to locate and register for career fairs in your area.

Find A Credit-Based Internship
Some internships start immediately after you finish college and let you jump right into a company’s operations. While these provide just as much practical knowledge, the earlier you start your internship, the better the end result will be. Look for internships that offer college credit for active students so that you can take time to complete it while you are still enrolled in school. If you decide to take a semester off or your degree program is different from the internship’s requirements, remember that you can find online programs from College Online LLC in order to meet their standards for an internship. Don’t limit yourself to just internships in your degree program, since you can learn valuable skills and make connections by branching out.

Prepare For An Interview
The more knowledge you bring to an interview, the better the odds of hiring. You can find just about everything you would need to know about a company from their “about us” page. In the event their “about us” page has too little info to go on, sign up for a business-oriented social network like Manta in order to get more concrete statistics about employees, market niches, partners, and so on. Make sure you have a LinkedIn page to develop contacts and networks, and put examples of your achievements or creativity on your profile in order to give job recruiters information about your skills. Use these examples and try to be novel in the interview process, suggesting an area where you could provide your skills even more ambitiously than what the company is looking for. Go so far as to be the first intern in a new function, and companies will be impressed by your creativity and work ethic.