Scoring the Perfect Internship

By Serena Doescher on February 7, 2015
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Photo by Emilien ETIENNE via Creatice Commons

 

As spring semester gets underway, it’s time to look for the coveted (and maybe elusive) summer internship. Despite your major, finding an internship is both important and difficult. With classes, work, and maybe even a social life (gasp!) searching for the perfect internship can be pretty overwhelming. But with a few nonnegotiables (or semi-nonnegotiables) in mind, you can narrow in on the perfect(ish) internship.

Obviously your major and career goals will dictate a lot about the internship you get, but there are some things you should hammer out before starting the search.

 

Income

The stereotype of working long hours fetching coffee for free may plague the internship world, but it is possible to avoid living up to it. Decide from the start if you can afford to spend the summer in an unpaid position, or if three months with out a paycheck isn’t realistic. But if you find the perfect internship and it’s unpaid, see if you can squeeze in a part-time job. It will be a lot of work but you’ll feel super exhausted accomplished at the end of the summer.

 

Planes, trains, and automobiles—let’s talk location

How far are you willing to travel every day? If rush hour traffic and crowded trains make you shudder, look for options closer to home. Also, considered internships in your college town. From local businesses to your university, internships are abundant. There are tons of people subletting their apartments in the summer, so at least you won’t be a broke and homeless intern!

 

Part-time v. full-time

While a full-time internship gives you more experience and possibly more connections, a part-time internship lets you enjoy your summer a little bit more. If you plan to take summer classes, part-time is the way to go. Personally, I prefer full-time but it really is up to what you think you can handle.

 

Now that you have an idea of what you are looking for, you can begin the hunt. But where to start? Sites like internships.com and internmatch.com let you upload your resume and cover letter making it easy to apply to numerous jobs. They also let you put in search parameters like the ones above. Also, take a look at Uloop! Internships are posted under the jobs tab. Keep an eye on social media. See if companies are tweeting about openings or friends are bragging about scoring a great internship. These methods have the advantage of increasing your professional network.

No matter what internship you get or how you get it, remember to make the best of it. Take advantage of the connections you make, build your resume and maybe even have a little fun!

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My name is Serena Doescher. I am from the suburbs of Chicago, but have been transplanted to Iowa City for school. I am a Junior Journalism major at the University of Iowa and plan to pursue a career in public relations upon graduating. I can be easily persuaded by the promise of puppies and food.

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