Written by Erin Horwitz, Account Executive on the American Public Works Association account
Every college student knows that internships are crucial before starting a career, but finding the right internship often causes a lot of stress. Having an internship that prepares you well for your intended career is essential when applying for a job. While nothing surpasses the knowledge learned in the classroom, having on the job experience makes the transition from college to the “real world” less daunting. Today, many companies require one to three years of experience for an entry-level position. Below are five steps that will help find your dream summer internships.
- Ask around! It’s very common to hear, “It’s all about who you know,” so networking with friends and family is very helpful. You may have friends in your major who have had past internships who can connect you to a key manager or the company’s human resources department.
- LinkedIn. I cannot stress the importance of having a professional LinkedIn account and profile. Connect with everyone you know, from current classmates to past friends from high school, because you never know with whom they can connect you to. Fill your account with as much relevant information as possible. Having a résumé is great, but you can only put so much information on a one-page document. LinkedIn allows you to elaborate on projects you have done and accomplishments you have achieved. You can also use LinkedIn as a way to search for your dream internship. The LinkedIn website provides an abundant amount of internship listing and makes it easy to apply directly from the website.
- Use websites such as Internmatch.com, Indeed.com and even do a simple Google search. These websites have thousands of internship listings and you can filter them based on location, paid or unpaid internships, and type of internship you are looking for. These websites are a great place to start, especially if you are unsure about what you want out of an internship.
- Apply early! Many organizations with internship programs set deadlines early and it can be heartbreaking when you find the perfect internship only to realize that the deadline to apply was yesterday. Applying early will keep your stress level down and make you feel much more organized.
- Apply everywhere! Even if you’re unsure if you will get hired, definitely still apply. Don’t only apply to only one organization; it sadly doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. Applying to many different organizations increases your chances of finding an internship, but also may help you discover a new dream company.
Following these five steps will guarantee that you will find the perfect internship for you. Good luck in the internship search process!
Erin Horwitz is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism Communication pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Political Science. Upon graduation she hopes to move to Washington, D.C. and find a job working in public affairs. When not busy with school, Erin can found watching The West Wing, trying to find some sunshine or baking chocolate chip cookies.
Connect with the APWA team!
Serena Motelewski, Account Supervisor
Erin Horwitz, Account Executive
Jasmine Arant, Account Executive