Help, I Can't Find an Internship?
Often students seek internships in locations that do not offer many internship opportunities for college students. These students often become discouraged when they are unable to find prospective employers offering internships that can help them gain the relevant experience required when seeking actual jobs after graduation.
There are many reasons why there may be a lack of internships in a particular location. Often it is related to living in a small town that offers little in the way of large corporate offices, cultural opportunities, or specific areas of interest such as scientific research, publishing houses, or even a chance to work in a gallery, museum or theater.
Prospecting for Internships
There are three ways for finding internships as follows:
- Networking: While networking is considered to be the #1 strategy for finding a job, many students are also able to find internships by contacting family, friends, previous employers, faculty or members of their college’s alumni network. Finding internships through networking gives students access to internship opportunities that they would never find online.
- Online Databases: There are many databases for finding internships online. Be sure to check out top sites for finding internships or summer jobs.
- Prospecting: Although prospecting for an internship may seem a bit foreign, some of the best internships have been found this way. Say you are reading about a company or organization in one of your classes and, given your career field of interest, you believe it would be a great fit for the type of experience you are looking to get.
The next step would be to check out the companies website and click on the careers tab to see if they list any internships as well. If the company does not list any internships, you can then make a choice to prospect for potential internships that are either unlisted or one that you work with the employer to create yourself.
You may also come across companies or organizations of interest by reading the news and then by following a similar strategy to the one above. You may try calling the company, expressing your interest, and saying that you didn’t see any actual internships posted online; but you were wondering if they ever offer summer jobs or internships to college students and, if so, that you would be interested in sending in your resume. As a last resort, you can try emailing the company about potential opportunities, realizing that emails may go unanswered due to the high volume that is received each day.
Should I relocate?
There are a number of careers where relocation is often necessary to gain experience in a particular career of interest. For example, students interested in film, acting, or screenwriting would find themselves with a wealth of opportunities in the Los Angeles area while those students looking for internships in government or law would be best off in a large city with the Washington DC area providing the best chance for finding an internship.
Summer Housing Options
While many students cannot consider relocating to find an internship, many others can make it happen. For those students who have family or friends in other cities, they can try tapping into this resources to see if there’s a chance that they may be able to move in for a couple of months over the summer.
Another option is to find several roommates from your high school or college who may also be looking for housing in a particular city. There are also a number of housing options across the country that students can look into to find summer housing. There are a number of additional temporary housing options also available that you can find by searching the internet.