Internships are a great way to build skills, gain experience and a first-hand look at occupations, and solidify career plans.
Employers value interns who bring new ideas to the workplace and are now the number one way in which employers identify future hires.
"This was a great organization to intern with. They were dedicated to making the experience valuable for all." - KSU Intern
Steps to Prepare for and Get the Most Out of an Internship
1. Assess Your Readiness for an Internship
Are you confident about your career goals?
Do you know when you wish to complete an internship (often junior/senior year) and if it is required of your program?
Do you know the basics?
» Internships can occur year round, typically last about 10 - 15 weeks, and often range from 10-30 work hours per week.
» Details about the number of hours worked, length of internship, rate of pay, and other specifics are negotiated between employers and interns.
» If registering for academic credit, you will also need to meet academic program requirements and should contact the appropriate Faculty Internship Coordinator for prior approval.
2. Create a Professional Image on Paper and Online
3. Locate and Apply for Internships
Develop a network of contacts, especially in your fields of interest.
Create your one-minute self-marketing pitch.
Places to search for openings and research potential employers:
Follow up within a couple weeks after applying for a position to ask:
» What is the status of my application?
» What is your timeline for hiring?
» Can I provide any additional materials or information?
4. Practice Interviewing
5. Convey Professionalism at All Times
Arrive on time, dress in business attire, and display a strong work ethic.
Respect office protocals and learn all you can about the organization, industry, and profession.
Network by speaking to people in all positions and seek out a mentor.
Communicate regularly with your supervisor. Listen, ask questions, complete assigned projects, and ask for new tasks, as appropriate.
Show initiative by being willing to learn new skills.
6. Reflect on What you Learned and Leave a Positive Impression
Request references from your supervisor and/or other colleagues.
Update your resume to include the internship experience.
Reflect on your experience and feedback from your supervisor.
Affirm or redefine your career aspirations and next-steps with a career counselor.
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