Making Time to Find an Internship

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Regular readers of the UWW Student Internships Blog may have noticed that I’ve been MIA here for the last couple of weeks. September is typically a very busy month in Career & Leadership Development, and my schedule was no exception. I was invited to talk with classes about resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and the internship search. I attended meetings with local employers. I met one-on-one with students beginning their internship searches. Add to that the Involvement Fair, the Hawk Career Fair & Expo, and the Disney College Program presentation. I’m tired just looking back at my September schedule.

What was the first thing to fall off of my plate when my workdays filled? Blogging.

In many of my appointments with students searching for internships, the topic of time comes up. How much time is enough to devote to the internship search? Many experts will say that finding a full-time (i.e. permanent) job should be a full-time job in and of itself. What about finding an internship? Do you need to devote 40 hours a week to finding the opportunity of your dreams? What happens when your schedule is booked with school, work, and activities? How do you squeeze in time to find an internship?

To successfully secure the type of internship experience you want takes time and work. However, making your internship search a full-time job – on top of your full-time job of college student – might be a bit much. Here are some time-related tips for your internship search:

  • Start Early. Ideally, start preparing for your internship search two to three semesters before you want to participate in the internship. If you hope to have an internship for the summer of 2010, right now is a perfect time to begin preparing. Figure out what you are looking for in the experience and in a worksite. Write your resume and get feedback on it. Begin to network.
  • Dedicate the Time. Set aside time each week for your search. Maybe every Friday afternoon you spend a couple of hours identifying potential opportunities or reaching out to contacts within your network. Look at it as a super-part-time job.
  • Apply Before Dealines. Make sure to keep on top of the application process and apply well before deadlines hit. While competition has always been a little greater for summer internships (more demand means more competition), competition for fall and spring opportunities is increasing given the growing importance of the experience. Waiting until the last minute to apply could cost you opportunities.

I understand how challenging it can be to fit additional work into an already crammed schedule. But for your internship search, making the time can make all the difference. So here is my proposal to you: I’ll be make the time to write on Friday afternoons if you make the time to work on your internship search. Deal?

Photo by lrargerich

 

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