The real value of internships

Internships provide real-world experience that will be priceless when you start your job search.

Internships are mandatory for job search success, regardless of industry or profession. Without internship experience, you’re seen as a risk to companies that are looking to hire graduates that have already put their education to use. A study by Aerotek, a leading staffing provider, reports that 57 percent of adults would recommend an internship to make getting a post-graduate job easier. Furthermore, 55 percent of those who held internships found their current job through networking. Getting your first internship will be the most challenging, because employers will be looking for a track record. Here are some tricks to scoring your first — or next — internship:

Use your current network

Your best chance at landing an internship is to ask your family and friends to hire you or to refer you to someone else. When you ask them for help, make sure you’re specific with the type of field you want to go into — and don’t be picky if it’s paid or unpaid. The most important thing you can do now is to get some experience under your belt. Your family and friends are your trusted allies and can help you open doors.

Tap into your college career center

Most students ignore their career centers, which are there to support internship searches. As long as you’re a student with good standing, advisors will be willing to help you by introducing you to alumni. Reach out to them to schedule an appointment and then inquire about any alumni that would be interested in meeting.

Connect with people online

I recommend that you search for industry-leading professionals that you revere and reach out to them personally to ask if you can do work for them. Instead of asking for money, ask for an opportunity to contribute to whatever project they’re working on. Your effort, and attitude, might turn into an internship. And if it doesn’t, keep contacting new people. You can also search postings at sites such as Internships.com and Collegerecruiter.com.

– Dan Schawbel is the author of “Me 2.0,” the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC and a personal branding expert.
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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