More about internships
An internship in college goes a long way, helping students network and develop professional skills. Unfortunately, just one internship experience may not set you apart anymore.
Internships are ubiquitous and expected. The National Association of Colleges and Employers estimated that 65% of bachelor’s degree graduates from the Class of 2015 could put an internship on their resume.
Fortunately, students at the School of International Letters and Culture are exceptional, and with a few pointers you can get great internships, and in turn get great jobs.
Network (and advertise your language skills)
Did you know that Linkedin is available in 20 different languages? 70% of LinkedIn’s 433 million users are based outside of the United States, which means you can connect with professionals in 200 countries.
There are all kinds of tricks to maximize your profile and get seen, but you have a local network too. ASU Career Services lists internships and jobs both on and off campus. Working with alumni might give you a leg up, and knowing another language makes you a valuable addition.
Beyond official networking, you can reach out to coworkers and professionals and ask to get coffee. Use this as a learning opportunity in a less formal setting. You can also ask them to make introductions to other people in the field you’re interested in. There are right and wrong ways to do this, but guidance is never a bad thing.
Know where to look
Getting suggestions from people in your network is great, but a lot of websites will enable you to find and explore career options. We’ve already talked about LinkedIn, where companies do list internships, but some websites specialize in job finding.
Indeed.com enables you to set a filter for entry-level jobs and internships in a city of your choice. You can filter further by word choice. Idealist.org has hundreds of listings, many of which come from the nonprofit and NGO world. Some are even international, and the site is available in Spanish and French. The best part about Idealist though? You can filter out unpaid internships.
If you can, get an internship abroad
During the 2014/2015 academic year, only 313,415 U.S. students studied abroad. That’s less than 2% of of U.S. students enrolled in college. Besides being an incredible opportunity, studying abroad will set you apart when applying for jobs. Imagine elevating that distinction with an internship.
ASU has a number of study abroad opportunities. There are summer opportunities as well, including eight led by SILC faculty. When choosing your program, see which ones will help you coordinate an internship, and talk with an advisor about setting one up independently.
Intern more than once
Many colleges at ASU have internship requirements, which means there’s no excuse not to fit one into your schedule.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with adding an internship on your own time. Use nifty classes like BIS 484 to earn credits for an internship while working around major requirements. Need more incentive? One study found that 63% of college grads who had a paid internship get offered a job within six months of graduating. It might be easier to get a paid internship with previous experience already.
For all the professional benefits an internship presents, they can also be rewarding, exciting experiences. Working in your desired field will give you a sense of what you want and what you need to get there. Interning during the summer may present the chance to travel nationally or internationally. You’ll make friends with people who share your passions. You may not need an internship to graduate, but you may be better off.