What To Look For When You’re Looking For An Internship

Many things can drive an internship search, too often however, students either don’t know what to look for or look for the wrong things. Here are a few suggestions that can help you make the most of your internship search and, of course, subsequently your internship.

Smaller Companies Vs Giants

Although no one will dissuade you from taking an internship with Google, it is usually more beneficial to intern with a smaller company than a giant one. Sure, your resume might look more impressive if you choose the known brand, but you will almost certainly learn more in a more close-knit environment. Instead of filing and getting coffee, you will actually get to try your hand at whatever it is the company does; in a small business there’s plenty of work to go around.

The More Specific the Better

When you’re doing your research, it might be tempting to apply to every internship that has even the slightest relation to what you’re interested in, but try to get as specific as possible. For example, if you’re interested in book publishing, don’t just settle for interning at a printing press. Try to get as close as possible to your target area, because more than just being impressive, your internship should teach you something about the field you are considering, give you some perspective and introduce you to the beginnings of a network.

Seek Out Responsive Individuals

Obviously you don’t always have a choice of who you work with; in fact, most of the time you’ll work hard to get even one opportunity. However, if there is ever a choice of where to go, always choose the one with the more responsive, caring workers. This may seem like a no brainer, but many times other considerations get in the way and dwarf that all-important people aspect. Your supervisor and co-workers should be of utmost consideration for a few reasons: first, you don’t want to be miserable your entire summer or semester. Also, if you work with accessible people, you will ask more questions, get more answers and increase your knowledge. And, of course, if you like the people you work with they will probably be more likely to like you, which could result in a future hiring.

In short, when looking for internships, give those “details” a closer look. Never pick an internship solely for the value it may add to your resume. That would be like picking a stock “money maker” major, which could be the way to a miserable existence. The most important consideration when searching for and selecting an internship is how much you can learn from it. After all, that is why you’re in college.

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