I’ll be frank, nobody should be “doing nothing” between career positions. Either volunteer or get an internship. Volunteering is easier – after all, you’re working for free – and it can give you transferable skills that will look good on your résumé, help you network with new people, and keep you working. Yes, volunteering and interning are working.
A study released by the Vault.com shows that college students are listening: almost 9 out of 10 (86 percent) of college graduates reported completing at least one internship, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) reported completing two or more internships.
If you have a specific company you would like to work for, you’ll often find their internship programs posted on their website. It still shocks me how many people say, “Dana, I’d like to get an internship at XYZ company. How do I do that?”
My first question is to ask what they learned from that company’s website? When I get the blank stare, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Oh, and did I mention that it’s May and the XYZ’s internship program closed on January 15 for summer internships? Sigh…
But let’s start with how to find out about those internships. Here are four websites I’d like to highlight, but there are many more. And you should visit each of your target companies’ websites. You do have target companies, right?
Internships.com allows users to search for internships by major, job category, location, and company. Intern tips and a blog for intern stories help make prospective interns ready for anything that the interviewer may throw at them. The resources section provides the basics, the search process, and tips for what to do once in the internship.
Experience.com is unique because of its connection to colleges and universities. It’s loaded with listings and filters for customized searches. “More than a bank of résumés, we help people understand their interests and aptitudes, and how they can apply their talents in the workforce.” Nice graduate school guide, too.
Idealist.org caters to those seeking a position with a non-profit. It easily sorts internships by the area of focus, whether they are paid or unpaid, and even by language. The site also has an excellent resource center, blogs, and books.
Mediabistro.com targets media professionals and is the most thorough available for the media industry. They offer comprehensive news and analysis of traditional media, digital media, and social media through an extensive blog network and allied newsletters.
It takes as much hard work, preparation, and follow-up to secure an internship as it does for a full-time position, so apply the same job search techniques I describe in my book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! You can get it at http://www.danamanciagli.com/book/.