It can be hard for a young adult to land a job in a chosen field without having had relevant work experience. One of the best ways to build a résumé and work skills is through internships. How to be sure that an internship will assist one’s career? A National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey found that 65 percent of college grads working in paid internships were likely to receive a full-time job offer.
Internships Related to the Liberal Arts
Young adults interested in the arts, communications, journalism, or literature have many options for turning their course-work passions into paid internships. Various kinds of opportunities exist at public relations firms, sales promotion and marketing firms, media companies, corporate communications departments, museums, colleges and universities, and large-scale charitable organizations that offer paid positions.
Internships related to the Liberal Arts may be slightly less structured and defined than other kinds of internships, which means that you may need to do a little footwork to find, land or persuade an employer to create an internship opportunity that can benefit them and you. Do the research to find the names of companies and organizations in your area, and then visit their websites to look for internship openings or opportunities.
If you don’t see anything listed, don’t fret. You may be able to express your interest by reaching out to key decision-makers through their business websites or LinkedIn, or through people you know who work at the company. Another way to connect is by joining local chapters of the appropriate professional associations and attending events to network with people who work at the business for which you’d like to intern.
Internships Related to Math, Finance & General Business
Young adults who are inclined toward mathematics, finance or general business will find that internship programs are generally quite structured. For example, a company may have fall and spring internship programs, as well as pre-determined hours and clearly defined milestones. For these areas of interest, check out consulting firms that handle business analytics, and mid- to large-size accounting firms and corporate-brand companies with management training programs.
Research their offerings, know their application process, and be sure that your résumé highlights your accomplishments, which could include key course-work completed, or credentials and awards you’ve earned.
Internships Related to Healthcare
Healthcare-related internships are generally quite structured, as are business-related internships. Best bets for high-quality, paid internships can be medical clinics, nursing homes, and independent medical and healthcare practices. An internship might require, for example, course-work that can help prepare you for future certifications.
The best segue into a hospital or clinic of choice might be through a co-op program, which is a type of internship that enables you to receive career training while also receiving course credit and/or monetary compensation for your work. Co-op internship programs also can be available in other sectors, such as those related to the Liberal Arts.
Internships Related to Education
Depending on the career focus, education-oriented internships may be best sought from regional school districts, universities, and providers of early childhood education. Libraries and municipal offices could also be worth investigating. Internships in higher education or government will likely be structured, while internships in private or early childhood education may be less so.
Ultimately, a focused internship can help solidify a desired career path, expand relevant work experience, and increase your network of industry contacts. To have the best chance of finding a good fit, be sure to start the search well in advance of the desired internship date and find out who the main players are in your region.