There’s no such thing as the perfect internship. For choosing the right internship look for the one which aligns with your career goals, and then tap your own initiative to turn that internship into an experience that will grab the attention of future employers.
Choosing Right Internship
Almost any internship is a platform for students to practice and gain the experiences and skills they need to develop. It’s also up to you to create chances to build key skills. Ask if there’s a project you can help out with. Ask the manager if there’s an opportunity to do a presentation, help with a PowerPoint, sit in on a sales pitch.
But how do you know ahead of time which experiences and skills matter most? You can research job descriptions. Find out the key skills and experiences each company wants and then seek opportunities to develop those skills during your internship. You won’t be able to accomplish everything. But if you ask the right questions beforehand and uncover informed answers to them, you’ll find the internship that’s perfect for your future career.
A supervisor has a huge impact on the student’s internship experience. It’s important for students to find out as much as they can about their internship supervisor. Other students from your school may have done an internship for the organization under the same person you’d be working under. Or perhaps one of your professors or a campus career counselor knows this person. An experienced supervisor will provide interns with opportunities for learning and networking, assign projects that require independent responsibility, and provide an honest and constructive critique of the intern’s work.
This question is particularly important to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide between a generalist internship at a large, well-known organization and a more content-specific internship at a smaller, unfamiliar company. Students get so excited about opportunities to intern at well-known organizations that they may overlook some of the main objectives of an internship, which are to gain experience, the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills, the opportunity for professional growth, and the opportunity to interact with professionals in their field. Eventually, students are going to have to elaborate about their internship experiences in a job interview.