7 Things to do This Winter to Prepare for Summer Internships
There are steps you can take throughout your college career to get you there. But, take advantage of those college-free weeks to do such things as update your resume, start applying to internships, and reach out directly to companies that interest you. Start early and it won’t seem like so much work – plus, your future self will be grateful!
Below are seven easily actionable tips to help you land the perfect internship this summer.
1. Reach Out to Relevant Professionals to Set Up Informational Interviews
This is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself. Setting up informational interviews with people in your desired field can be a great way to figure out which career paths are right for you. Be sure to connect and reach out to relevant professionals in the industry and start setting up informational interviews. These conversations give you the opportunity to pick their brains without the pressure of internships or job interviews.
Prepare a list of questions that are thought-provoking and relevant. Make sure you listen keenly for key details about internships – these will be your path to getting an entry into the industry. With research and preparation, these conversations can provide invaluable insight into what it takes to find success in internships and future careers. Don’t forget to send a thank you note later.
2. Try to Job Shadow Someone in Your Chosen Field
Shadowing a professional is a great way to familiarize yourself with industry norms. Not only will you gain hands-on experience in the field, but you’ll also have the opportunity to observe and learn first-hand the kind of tasks that are part of the job.
This will go a long way to helping you decide if that particular occupation is right for you – plus it’s a great excuse to get out of your comfort zone and make valuable connections. Ask your parents or friends’ parents if they have any contacts who would be willing to have you shadow them. Not only will this give you an insight into the day-to-day duties of the role, but also help guide your career decision making process and provide valuable insights that internships don’t always teach you.
3. Volunteer Over Winter Break as Much as Possible
Winter break presents an amazing opportunity to get involved as a volunteer and give back. It’s also the perfect opportunity to build up your resumé. Dedicating yourself to something worthwhile during this break is sure to open doors for you in the future. Making use of your time off by joining service projects shows responsibility and dedication, which are proficiencies that any organization would be interested in seeing on your resume.
Whether you’re helping out with a local organization, church, synagogue, or school, your experience will be useful when it comes time to apply for internships. But don’t limit yourself there – volunteering can also help build leadership skills, expand work experience and even provide networking opportunities. It’s the perfect way to make winter break count!
4. Join School Clubs – Not Just Greek Life
Joining school clubs can be one of the best things you do in college to achieve career success. These club communities offer opportunities for networking, learning to become an effective leader and collaborating on projects.
School clubs are often overlooked when it comes to enriching your academic experience, but participating in organizations that resonate with your interests and values can be very beneficial. Plus, there’s sure to be something for everyone – from improv and theater to service organizations, there are all sorts of avenues that you might never have considered before. While on break make it a point to review your school’s website for a list of clubs and commit to checking out 2-3 when you are back on campus.
5. Build Your Resume
A good resume will help give potential employers a better look into what skills you already have and areas where you might need to improve. Pump up your resume with experiences and smaller jobs that weren’t previously there. Adding your work history will help you confidently show employers why you are the ideal intern they seek. Whether it’s a one-time event or odd job, these small feats of hard work will be viewed positively in the eyes of potential employers.
Don’t forget to add any volunteer experience you have. Just because you didn’t get paid for the effort doesn’t make it irrelevant. Volunteering and charity work can really help showcase your passion and appreciation for a job well done.
6. Join Professional Affinity Groups
Joining professional affinity groups can help you learn about an industry of interest. If you’re curious about a certain profession or industry and don’t know how to get started, professional affinity groups offer internships, mentoring opportunities, job shadowing experiences and more to give you an insiders’ look at what the career entails.
Furthermore, it’s an amazing way to network with professionals and build an impressive contact list for your career development. The connections you make with others that share common interests can prove invaluable. Plus, internships are often posted through these kinds of groups so if you’re looking for more experience, professional associations are a great place to start. Take a few moments out of your day and check out the different organizations available to join.
7. Cold Call Companies and Ask if They will be Hiring Interns in 2023
If you’re wondering what internships will be available in 2023, the best way to find out is by taking initiative and making cold calls to companies. While it may seem outside of your comfort zone, this proactive approach can increase your chances of getting an internship that not only suit your skills but also matches your interests.
Cold calling shows employers that you can be proactive when needed, and it may save you a lot of time and hassle down the line if they already have already hired their summer 2023 interns. Even if the companies don’t offer internships, some may still be willing to offer mentorships or advice on how to make yourself more competitive when applying for internships in the future.
Reaching out to relevant professionals to set up informational interviews is the most important way to land the perfect internship.
Job shadowing and volunteering are great ways to familiarize yourself with an industry and build your resume.
Joining school clubs, professional affinity groups, and cold calling companies are all proactive ways of finding out about internships that match your skills and interests.
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