If you’re new to the internship process, you may want to think about the type of internship you want and what you want to gain from it. When searching for an internship, you want to have an idea of the potential employers you would like to work for, your ideal internship, and your preferred work environment. Below is a list of important things to consider when deciding on the kind of internship you should be applying to.
Internship Checklist – Questions to Consider When Choosing an Internship
1) Is the internship related to your major?
Unless you are just looking for any internship to fill your resume, you probably want to determine if the experience you will be receiving from it will help you get a job in the industry you desire once you graduate. If the internship is unrelated to what you want to do in the future, you may want to continue searching instead of settling. However, if you are unsure about your major or what you want to do in the future, an internship is a good way to determine whether that field is something you want to avoid or something you may really be interested in.
2) How many hours per week can you contribute to an internship?
Some internships require that you work a certain amount of hours per week. When asking yourself how many hours you are able to realistically contribute, make sure you factor in the time you need for your coursework, studies, and other commitments.
3) Do you need the internship to be paid?
Unfortunately, many internships are unpaid and you will have to consider whether you’re able to take on the added expense of an unpaid internship.
4) When do you want to be an intern?
Most internships only last a semester or a summer. You should decide whether you can balance an internship along with your coursework during the semester or if you prefer to only look for summer internships. Keep in mind that summer internships are more competitive as there are more applicants.
5) How will the internship benefit me?
Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to add the experience to your resume, the right internship should also help you get the job you want after you graduate. Also keep in mind that the people you meet at your internship may be good contacts to reach out to when you’re looking for a full-time position.
6) Is this a company you would like to work for in the future?
If this is a firm you can see yourself working for in the future, this would be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door. Many employers will look to hire within the company first before advertising an open position to the public. Thus, interning at the firm would be especially helpful if you are looking to stay with the company as a full-time.
7) What skills do you wish to develop?
By reading the job description of an internship, you will get an idea of the type of work you will be doing and whether it is likely you will develop the skills you desire. It is important that you are learning new things and acquiring new skills throughout the internship.
8) Do you need to obtain college credit?
Some places will only accept applicants looking for college credit in exchange for their work, especially if the internship is unpaid. Make sure you check your college requirements to determine whether you are eligible to receive academic credit from an internship.
9) Do you know any current or former interns at this firm?
See if you know anyone who has interned with the firm and try to get an honest assessment of their experience. They may also be helpful if you have any questions about the application and job interview process.
10) What is the furthest I am willing to commute or relocate for an internship?
Think about whether you would consider taking an internship far from campus during the school semester. Also consider this question when you are looking for summer internships as you will probably have more flexibility to relocate. Ask yourself if you are willing to relocate to a different city, or even state, for an internship.