Figuring Out What You Want from an Internship

Internships are synonymous with college students. And many students are constantly on the lookout for quality internships. Finding a quality internship means finding one that fits your interests, major and/or the job industry you plan to enter. It can be difficult to find the right one, especially when you’re inexperienced. However, there are some ways to narrow the search and ensure you find the best internship for your field of study. Below are a few of these ways.

Decide What You Want from Your Career

If you know what you want from your career, it’ll be easier for you to decide what you want from your internship. But this means figuring out what you do and don’t want from a future job and employer. Knowing what you want will help ensure you intern in a field and at an organization that you like. Besides, internships are trials that can be used to help you gain experience and the ability to make informed career choices.

This time should be used to help you define who you are and what you want. Remember that even the most tedious activities can test your abilities, improve your professionalism and help you build character. Although you might perform many trivial tasks, you will also have opportunities to learn many valuable skills and inside information about your future career.

Define Your Internship

An internship is not the same thing as a ‘job.’ Most college students use jobs to supplement their income, but they use internships to gain experience in their field of study, build skills in a professional environment and help them figure out their future career path. In fact, an internship can be the first step in a career. Internships provide useful information and professional experience, as well as help you learn marketable skills. For example, if you plan to work in the business sector, an internship can teach you about the best marketing practices, how to negotiate contracts, how to manage accounts and so much more. Everything you learn at this level will prepare you for working at higher levels. But it all begins with defining what you want your internship to be.

Choose a Feasible Schedule

An internship is like every other job, it requires a time commitment – a commitment that fits your schedule and lifestyle. This means scheduling your work days and committing to a part-time or full-time position. A full-time internship can be highly demanding, so most students opt for part-time positions. The partial time commitment offers flexibility and the ability to pair your internship with a summer job or courses. On the other hand, a full-time commitment can help prepare you for a real work schedule and expectations.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of Corporations vs. Small Companies

Most students dream of landing an internship at a major corporation. But small companies or startups can offer as much opportunity and experience as large organizations. It all depends on your experience, what you want from your future career and what you want and need to learn. If you’re inexperienced and looking for your first internship, a startup or small company is best for you. Because small companies have a small amount of staff members, you will likely receive more meaningful tasks and projects, leading to more experience.

Comparatively, large companies are generally interested in experienced interns with unique skill sets. Plus, if you intern at a major corporation, you will likely receive more trivial tasks and less experience in leadership roles. However, where you intern could depend on where you live. If you live in one of the best student rentals Ottawa has to offer, like 1Eleven, there’s a good chance that there will be opportunities at many organizations.

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