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Looking For An Internship – What To Expect From Employers

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Did you know that 59.3 percent of students complete two or more internships before entering the entry-level workforce? As internships rise in popularity, so does the level of competition for landing one. If you’re on the hot pursuit of an internship, you’ve got to go above and beyond to stand out to employers.

One simple way to get ahead in your internship search is to check out what employers are currently offering and what they expect from their intern candidates. There is a wide range of online platforms to helps students find internships as well as helping companies to hire talented students. Internship seekers can gain insight into several trends taking place in regards to internships if they do their homework (no pun intended).

Keep these points in mind as you search for your internship:

  • Large companies begin intern recruiting and hiring early. It’s best to begin your internship search as soon as possible. This is because 37.7 percent of companies with  251+ employees start recruiting their interns more than a year in advance. Even if you’re not planning on interning at a large company, kick off your search at least three months in advance to ensure you find a great opportunity.
  • It’s best to avoid unpaid internships. Paid internships are on the rise, but unfortunately 36.9 percent of companies still offer unpaid internships or internships that pay less than minimum wage. Don’t settle for an unpaid opportunity during your internship search.
    • Internships, Apprenticeships, & Volunteer Opportunities – If you haven’t visited the Riley Guide in your quest for a job or summer internship then you’ve been missing one of the best career sites on the Internet. Known for their vast listings of career links, their Summer Intern section will not disappoint.  Starting with a list of Internships and Fellowships sites, the site lists additional resources for both study and non-study experience abroad. And, while getting paid would be nice, you should also consider looking at the volunteer opportunities sites listed here as well.
  • Employers are looking to improve diversity. Just 10 percent of companies see their intern program as being highly diverse. If you want to gain the attention of employers, tout your unique background and fresh perspective when applying for the company.
    • Lists of companies by industry – Wikipedia has very good list of companies by industry. Find your industry, take a deep dive on your company and make a list of companies that meet your criteria.
  • There’s an under-utilization of international interns. Fifty-six percent of companies don’t hire any international students for their internship programs. If you live abroad and are searching for an internship in the U.S., look to the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to get upfront information on the complexities of U.S. companies hiring an international intern and make your process easier.
  • Interns have limited flexibility. If you’re juggling a busy schedule, it’s important to know 62 percent of companies don’t allow interns to work from home or a coffee shop. Success during your internship will rely heavily on managing your schedule, and it’s in your best interest to only take on a position that matches your needs. Seek out virtual internships or internship programs with a greater understanding for flexibility.

Stand out during your internship by paying close attention to these noteworthy aspects of the current state of the internship.

Additional Resources5 Steps to a Great Internship

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Good luck in your search,


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