By Isabel Vega
A strong component in securing a job after graduation is in completing a summer internship between semesters. When students obtain and finish an internship, it allows them to gain valuable experience that future employers look for. An internship could also possibly to the company offering the employee a full-time job after graduation.
While the benefits of internships sound great, it does not mean applying is easy. Writing about yourself on paper and being interviewed can be intimidating.
When looking for internships, students tend to be careless in their search. They only look for jobs that fit a certain criteria and make them feel comfortable. But in order to get the best internship possible, it’s crucial for students to step outside their comfort zones and look for opportunities in whichever way possible.
Students should not limit their searches to the immediate area they live in. Each situation will be different, but if students have nothing tying them down to where they live for the summer, then they should branch out. Great internships can be found all over the country. Not only can they provide engaging experiences, but they can offer the opportunity to spend the summer in new, exciting places. These aspects can give you the opportunity to grow professionally and intellectually, making yourself a more desirable candidate for employers.
This past summer, I worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where I met a variety of students from all over the country. Many lived far away, while others were close by. It was inspiring to know that so many people came from areas incredibly far away.
It’s also important not to let salary be a deciding factor in accepting an internship offer. The most important aspects to consider are if the internship is a good fit and what experiences can be gained. While salary should be a consideration, it should not be a determining factor.
I think the most important part to note when applying for internships is skill set. Students need to know that employers usually do not expect you to be an expert in the field. They are not expecting you to be able to walk in the door and know everything there is to know about the job.
If you’re scrolling through internship opportunities and see a posting that lists some qualifications you may not have, you should still apply. If you meet some of the qualifications, but not others, don’t be afraid to go for it.
When you interview for the position, be upfront about the skills you have and make it clear that you are there to learn and gain the skills you’ll need. If an employer knows you are willing to learn while on the job, then that can go a long way in their decision-making process.