Summer is officially coming to a close as the fall semester goes into full swing. Before you know it, winter break will be here too! That’s why, although the sun is still shining and snow is hopefully not in the forecast yet, it’s important to start the process of searching for a winter internship now. An internship can happen any year during your college career, so you can start as early as the Winter of freshmen year to see what positions may be available to you. As with any internship or job search process, it is always beneficial to start early to prevent missed opportunities.
Identify the type of position you want
Before starting to research open internship positions, you should identify what type of industry or position you are interested in. It can be an industry you are curious about or one that you are certain you have a future with. Regardless of your intentions, an internship is designed to let you experience firsthand what working in a certain industry or position is like.
Research some companies you are interested in
It’s also helpful to research companies you may be interested in interning for. If you want a social media marketing internship, for example, you can then look into companies that you’re interested in working for, such as Starbucks or Amazon. You can also research if a company historically gives internships to know whether to keep checking for new positions, and/or signing up for notifications. Websites like Handshake and Internships.com are two examples of websites that are focused on specifically helping potential candidates land internships and/or jobs.
Visit a career center in mid-September
Most universities have a career center for a reason, which is to help students get jobs and internships. I understand that not all career centers are super helpful, but they allow you to meet with a career counselor. They can help inform you of recruiting events on campus, provide interview tips, and help you fix your resume before applying to internships! It’s important to visit a career center counselor in mid-September so you can be prepared to start applying for winter internships in October. Although it’s always beneficial to start looking for internships as soon as possible, it’s notable that companies will typically post winter internships in October. As a result, September and October are your key months of preparation.
Network & apply
You may not see a posting for an internship position at a company you desire, but you can still go on LinkedIn to network with individuals at a company in the field you’re interested in. You can discuss what their job is like and potentially ask about shadowing and other potential opportunities. It is important to remember that internships are designed to help you gain experience in your desired field. This internship experience, paid or not, will help you land a job when you graduate! When you see an internship position you are interested in, you should definitely apply to it, but sending in your resume and application is not where the applying process ends. If you have a point of contact at a company, you should maintain open communication with them about when applicants are being selected as well as following up about any additional information they may need from you. As a result, you will make sure you gain any extra knowledge, and increase your chances of being selected for the position.
All of this preparation and applying for positions will be worth it this winter when you’re thriving in your internship. While interning, try to get out as much experience and information as you can because this is direct experience that you can leverage for your future career both for your resume and for interviews. For more helpful career tips, be sure to continue reading our articles here.