Updated: Feb 21, 2022
Looking for internships can be a daunting task, but landing one can significantly impact your professional and personal development. Two benefits that readily come to mind are opportunities to build your skillset and build a network that can help you advance your career and access more opportunities.
Lack of focus and clearly outlined short-term, and long-term goals for participating in internships can affect the search process. That's why it is essential to align your passion and future career goals with the internships you go after.
Here are four key ways of sourcing internships:
Leverage your network
Your network is your net worth, so build good relations with your professors, friends, and colleagues. These are the people you can approach to get a personal recommendation letter for opportunities of interest. Take the bold step to articulate what you are looking for in an internship, approach these people in your network for referrals and recommendations.
One other way of finding internships is by researching companies you are interested in, exploring the company's website, looking up the recruiters for the company online, and keeping note of the companies that are not on your radar but may have something to offer. It would be best if you created ample time to research companies as this also prepares you to in case you get called for an interview after a successful application. Don't rush.
Contact companies directly
If you have a dream company in mind, be proactive and write the company a letter of interest; remember to be respectful. Elaborate on the skills you will bring to the company and how this would be beneficial to them.
One of the frequently overlooked areas to source internships is LinkedIn. Most recruiters spend some time of their day browsing through Linkedin scouting for ideal candidates, and others even post about openings. Create a Linkedin account that is up to date, build your online profile for when you approach a recruiter as they will likely go to your profile at the point of contact. Follow the recruiters of some of the companies you are interested in and take the time to also interact with the posts they make on Linkedin.
Finding an internship is never easy. Approaching the process with an open mind, careful planning, timing, deliberation, respectful attitude and a desire to learn will set you on a path to success in your search.