Internships and summer jobs are great ways to try out fields of interest and develop skills that will help with your future job search or graduate school plans. Because internships provide a perfect opportunity for you to explore your options, you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do before you do it.
By the time you graduate, it may be a good idea to have had 1 or 2 internships on your resume. These internships can be anything career-related that is supervised by full-time professionals in that field, such as conducting research, working at a non-profit, managing office responsibilities, assisting with projects, and using technical skills to support an organization.
Depending on your career goals, your internship experiences can vary widely; there is no one “right” internship or number of internships.
How do I start?
Start by considering your goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kinds of careers am I interested in exploring?
- What types of organizations am I interested in? (e.g. Non-profit? Engineering? Government?)
- Which skills do I want to use? (e.g. writing, research, problem-solving, scientific/lab, etc.)
- Are there specific organizations or companies I’d like to target?
- Where do I want to be geographically?
- Do I need to be paid for my internship?
You may want to have a couple different categories or “bins” of internships in mind as you begin. Ready? View our tips on how to find an internship and check out our online resources.
United States Department of Labor FLSA Guidelines