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How to Prepare for Your Next Internship

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Whether you’ll be working in a paid or unpaid position, you should treat your internship much as you would any other job opportunity. An internship is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of your industry, make connections with people in your field, and ultimately decide what your next career move should be.

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02/25/2021 12:35 pm GMT
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In order to make the most of your opportunity to work as an intern, you should prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the experience.

Whether you’ll be working in a paid or unpaid position, you should treat your internship much as you would any other job opportunity. An internship is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of your industry.Click To Tweet

Finding the Right Internship

Finding the right internship takes both patience and research skills. No matter what your chosen degree and career field, If you put in the time necessary you can likely find an opportunity that fits you perfectly.

  • Figure out what you want out of your internship experience: connections, a deeper understanding of the field, opportunities to work on specific projects, etc.
  • Start searching early (at least one semester prior to the semester for which you are applying).
  • Look for opportunities on internship-aggregating websites. Internships.com is one such that specializes in internship opportunities.
  • Identify target companies and organizations and contact them about available opportunities.
  • Reach out and network—people in your acquaintance may be aware of internships you had not previously considered.

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Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are two of the most important documents you will create. Together, they represent you and your work to potential internship providers. Before sending out any applications, get your resume and cover letter reviewed by your school’s career resource center or by a professional resume writer. They can give you tips on the style, presentation, and content of your documents.

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Make sure that your resume and cover letter are tailored to the specific internship and organization that you are applying for by highlighting relevant skills or experiences. Try to find the name of the hiring manager or human resources director in charge of the position and address your documents to that person.

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Interview

One of the best things you can do to prepare for an internship interview is to practice, practice, and practice. It’s normal to feel a little nervous (this is often a good thing!), but you need to be prepared to put your best foot forward. Practicing can help you get a feel for the interview process and can help ensure that you are ready for common questions. It’s a good idea to compose your answers beforehand—you don’t want to give the feeling that you are reading off a script, but you do want to have a good idea about what you are going to say.

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Other Tips

While on the job as an intern, you need to do your best to impress your internship providers. Many volunteer internships can lead to full-time employment opportunities or great recommendations for future positions, but only if you are willing to work hard.

  • Be enthusiastic and self-motivated
  • Ask for assignments
  • Assert yourself
  • Network
  • Show up on time
  • Complete tasks quickly

Whether working for Fortune 500 companies or nonprofit organizations, internships are great opportunities to start your chosen career and gain experience while still in school. Prepare yourself now to be an excellent intern, and you will get a lot out of the position.

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