Five Tips for Landing an Internship in Your Field of Study

by Grace Dickins

Internships are paid or unpaid experiences in your career field. They are normally short-term opportunities for students looking to gain skills in their job fields. Sometimes these internships can lead to jobs; other times, they are just a great way for a student to experience what it's like to work in a field. Landing an internship is key to future career success. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get a stellar internship.

1. Network

Networking is one of the best ways to land a job or internship in your field. Knowing the right people can help you in both the long term and the short term. By networking, you can get to know people who might put in a good word for you if you apply for a job or internship. Network, keep contact information, and use social media designed for professionals. You never know who might be able to help you when the time comes.

2. Talk with your advisor

Part of your academic advisor's job is to help students look for internships. Talk with your advisor to see what suggestions he/she has. Your advisor may even be in contact with people who want to offer internships to students.

3. Look at job boards

Looking at local job boards is an excellent way to scope out internships. These days, many companies post internship openings on local job sites. These internships are applied to just like regular jobs. Keep your eyes peeled, and do frequent searches for internships in your field.

4. Contact employers

Be proactive by seeking out which companies you'd like to do an internship for. Research the companies you'd like to work with, and get in contact with them. This is also a good way to carve out your own niche. Tell the company what you'd like to do for it and ask if you can spend some time as an intern there.

5. Job Shadow

Job shadowing with a person or company could also help you get your foot in the door. Spend a day shadowing someone who has a job that interests you. If you enjoy your day of job shadowing, ask the person or company about the potential to further your experience through an internship.