Before college students graduate, they often need to complete an internship program. Internships are a great way to prepare students for their future career. It gives them a deeper understanding of the path they want to take, and puts them in a situation in which they can learn first-hand what it feels like to work in their chosen profession.
Choosing an internship is as important as your first job. You want to be in the right situation to learn as much as you can about the career. You need to evaluate which internship is best for you. To help you choose, here are some factors that you should consider.
Career relevance– The most important factor in choosing an internship is how it will affect you when the time comes to start applying for jobs. You want to be in an internship that will help you to gain valuable experience that you can use on your first job interview. Don’t accept an internship just for the sake of accepting it. It might not be easy to find a program, but your efforts will be well worth the effort.
Location – While an important factor, this is something that you can easily deal with, especially when an opportunity is too good to pass up. However, you also need to consider your financial situation. You want to be in an internship in which the location won’t be much of a burden to you.
Networking – The whole point of an internship is to immerse yourself in opportunities. You want an internship that will introduce you to various people who can be your ticket to a job later on—not something that will keep you sequestered, filing documents all day.
Scheduling flexibility– Most college students already have work and school in their busy schedules. You want an internship in which they can understand that there will be times when you need to attend to other things in your schedule. Don’t let the internship be a roadblock; instead, make it the springboard to a wonderful career.
Mentors – Through the course of your internship, you want to have someone whom you know you can go to. This person will be responsible for helping you and giving you the best possible experience in your internship. You want someone who can give you invaluable knowledge and who will guide you through the whole experience.
Working environment– Just like with a job, the environment in your internship largely affects how your experience will be. Therefore, you want to be in a place where your personality fits with the company.
Your internship is an important milestone on the path to your career. Weigh your options carefully, as this will put you in an excellent position to get that first job.