When you’re looking for an internship, your first step should be setting your internship goals. They are a list of things you wish to gain from the internship and what the purpose of the internship would be. If you don’t do so properly, you might just end up wondering what you are doing in that organization, in the middle of your internship term. Here are some of the basic questions that you should ask yourself before you get into an internship.
1. Why do you want to do an internship?
Internships are a tool that you can use to gain invaluable, hands-on knowledge
and experience about the inner workings of a modern organization. If you are interested in a specific industry or career path, you can learn how things work and what it means to work in that industry or field through an internship. You can experiment with multiple internships and see where you fit best, then pursue a career in that field. You must decide what your reasons are for doing an internship before you do anything else.
2. What do you hope to gain from an internship?
You must put together a list of realistic expectations from that internship. Whether they are about making contacts in an organization for future referrals or just an addition to your resume, so that your application carries more weight, you have to be realistic.
3. What are your specific career interests & goals?
If you aren’t sure about your career path and can’t decide whether you want to pursue a career in your major or minor, an internship is invaluable in helping you decide. You can even try an internship in a completely different field if you aren’t sure about that either. Who knows, you might even end up switching your majors.
4. What type of work environment are you looking for?
Organizations are like living, breathing organisms. The people working in them define them, and their cultures and work environments vary significantly. You must know what kind of work environment you want to work in and whether you prefer working in a small, flexible technology company or a large corporation
with hundreds or thousands of employees in every department. Smaller companies offer new hires the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience other roles and facets of the business as well. It is also easier to move up in such companies as compared to larger companies. Larger organizations offer better opportunities when you’re thinking of switching jobs or prefer the large, corporate culture.
5. Where do you want to intern?
This is the most important question you can ask because it can make or break your career path. Choosing the right company can mean the difference between becoming a millionaire by the time you’re forty or still worrying about and planning your retirement by the time you’re sixty. If you’re going for an internship during a college semester, you have to take into account the proximity of the organization’s office to your college. However, be mindful that the internships on your resume play a very pivotal role when you start applying for paid jobs.
6. Are you looking for a paid, unpaid or credit-hour internship?
Though rarer than they used to be, you can still find some good paid internships if you look at the right places. However, most are unpaid. If you are looking for an internship in a non-profit organization or agency, you most probably won’t be paid. However, large corporations usually pay their interns a stipend or provide other benefits. Recruitment services such as InspiringInterns can help in these regards, as well as provide grooming and training for interviews, tests, and other organization specific requirements.
Featured Image Credit: TWK