Internships are temporary employment positions for students in their related field of study. Any position for which students are hired and gain skills that correspond with their classroom learning can be considered an internship. Internships may be paid or unpaid and generally consist of an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization.
The experience that complements your classroom learning can be immeasurable to helping you obtain your first “real” job after completing your education. It can be difficult to obtain that first position in your career; the more experience you have, the more marketable you are. Due to the economic climate, most open positions are receiving numerous applicants with education and years of experience. Obtaining an internship allows you to accumulate those years of experience while finishing your education.
Many of the programs at Lake Land College offer internship courses as a way to receive credit while working in your field of study. However, if your program does not offer an internship course, you may talk to your advisor about setting up an independent study to receive course credit. If you are receiving course credit for an internship, you most likely will be required to complete other assignments concerning your internship other than just work in that position.
Most internships are paid positions not unlike a part-time job. Yet many of the most prestigious internship positions are unpaid. Many companies hire successful interns for full-time positions after their graduation. You are strongly encouraged to research the internship program in advance of applying for the position to know what qualifications in which they are looking for in an intern and if it is a paid internship.
Many of the programs at Lake Land College that offer internship credit courses have set timelines for when you will complete an internship during your academic career. Some internship programs require that you have completed a certain number of credit hours before being hired as an intern. A general rule is that you should have enough educational experience in your field that would allow you to have something to bring to the position for which you are hired.
If there is a company that you know you want to work for after completing your education, check out their internship program and/or open positions. If that company does not have an internship program, make an appointment to discuss your career plans with their human resources department. By showing your initiative and desire to work for that company, they may create an internship for you.
If you are unsure of where you wish to work, talk to people who have the position you want, or ask your instructors for a recommendation for an employer. Career Services may also have information from employers looking for an intern and can also give suggestions of where to look for positions.
Just like any other position for which you are applying, you will need to have an updated resume, cover letter, portfolio, and interview attire and skills.