True story: You need an internship. Real-life work experience equals bonus points on your resumé, tons of open doors, and a sneak-peek into what life will be like should you decide to follow a certain professional path. But how do you find an internship that does all of this while also keeping you engaged and allowing you to contribute?
Fact check: Research shows that students with internship experience are more likely to find employment upon graduation than students who have none.
To get the most out of the whole experience, you need to nab a role that’s equal parts engaging and at least slightly within your wheelhouse. But how do you find an internship that actually sets you up to contribute on the daily? Follow these tips!
- Don’t Deny What You Love — Sports? Nature? Art? Mastering the latest TikTok challenge? It literally doesn’t matter what you like to do in your free time, there’s a career out there that has something to do with it. Think hard about your hobbies and interests, as well as the most enjoyable aspects of your chosen career path, and let that guide you to certain roles, fields, and companies.
- Play the Long Game — At the end of the day, an internship is meant to help set you up for long-term success, so try to think about how a given role might impact your future. But you don’t just need to think about your goals, you also need to write about them. Did you know that you’re 42 percent more likely to achieve goals if you write them down? And, yes, typing them on your Notes app counts.
- Consider Branching Out Geographically — If you’re looking to intern in the summer or between semesters, why not consider programs away from home? This will broaden your horizons professionally, socially, and geographically so you’re set up for success after graduation. If you have a really specific career path, it may be necessary to look beyond the local, and many internship programs can help you get set up with local housing to simplify the process.
- Use the Right Digital Tools — You already know you’re not going to find an internship on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter, but LinkedIn may not be doing you any favors, either. Create a profile on Tallo to showcase your talents and match with the right internships and apprenticeships. We are all about connecting users with the companies and professionals that can help them reach their career goals, no matter how specific or unconventional.
- Polish Up Your Resume — Setting your eyes on the prize isn’t always enough to win it. You’ve also got to stand out among a sea of applicants. Make sure to have someone you trust — a parent, advisor, or a particularly career-savvy pal — look over your resume and help you tailor it to each specific internship application. Even better, use Tallo to download your profile into a professional-looking resumé.
- Be Picky AF… — Obviously, you need to pick a company that makes sense — AKA don’t intern at a bank if your career vision centers around organic farming — but you can go deeper to make sure you find the right fit. Don’t be afraid to swipe left on internship listings that just don’t feel right. Even if there’s pay involved or if it’s a particularly impressive company, it’s totally fine to pass if it’s not a good match.
- …Or Say Yes to Everything — Maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers trial and error over getting it right the first time? There’s nothing wrong with that! Saying yes to every internship opportunity that comes your way — and making the best out of it even if it isn’t the most amazing experience ever — will be valuable to you no matter what. Truthfully, there’s no right or wrong way to cruise your career path. Do things the way that feels right to you!
Starting Your Career Off Right
Recap: Basically, not all internships are one-size-fits-all. And, to be honest, they shouldn’t be. Finding the right one is an important part of career building, but you probably shouldn’t say yes to every single one that comes your way. Tallo is here to help you learn how to find an internship that’s a 100 percent perfect match, so you can start your professional life off on the right foot!