How to Find an Unadvertised Internship
One of the most important and beneficial experiences a college student will have is an internship. Professors and career counselors always recommend completing at least one internship while attending a university or college. Most schools offer credit for internships that match certain criteria, which allows you to intern instead of going to class.
Though having an internship is important, it can be difficult to find an internship and get it. Thousands of college students apply for internships that are posted to the company’s website, school sites, and other methods that receive a lot of traffic. Your resume may be outstanding, but you still do not have an internship. The best way to get a position as an intern is through networking and reaching out.
What is networking? Networking is meeting people and making connections with them. This can be through a networking event, classmates, or talking to someone at a coffee shop. You never know who you will meet. Everyone knows someone who knows someone. Through this way of thinking, the person you are talking to may not be in the industry you want to have a career in, but they may know the CEO of one of your favorite companies. Networking allows you to be introduced to many people that can help you advance in your career and your life.
If you live in a city, there are many networking events held every week. Some events are focused on certain occupations or interests while others welcome everyone from any field of work. This is a great way to find an internship. A great way to find these events is through Meet Up. As mentioned before, you never know who you will meet that knows someone who can give you an internship.
Even if you do not live in a city, colleges and universities will hold networking events every so often. Some may offer panels where people in certain occupations come to speak about how they got to where they are and offer advice. This is a great start to networking. After the panel, go up and introduce yourself.
While attending networking events or panels, make sure to collect business cards from the people you talk to. This is your key to keeping in touch with them. If you have business cards of your own, give them out to whomever you would like to stay in touch with.
Ask Your Professors
While sitting in a lecture trying not to fall asleep, you may forget that your professor is more than just a teacher. They are accomplished academics with a large network of people in the industry. That is, the industries that you are trying to break into considering you are taking their class.
Go to your professor’s office hours or schedule a meeting with them to talk about internships. They may know someone who needs an intern but has not posted the position anywhere. When you have a recommendation or a personal connection and introduction, you are more likely to receive the internship position.
Ask Your Family and Friends
Family members are a great place to start, especially if you are from a big family. Give your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins a call and tell them that you are looking for an internship. They may know someone in the industry and can introduce you. Family is a great resource because they will always be there and care about your success and progression in life.
The same goes for friends and family friends. Everyone is a connection. It all goes back to networking. You never know who people know.
Reach Out Directly
If there is a company that you are extremely interested in or have always wanted to work for them, find a way to contact someone who works there. LinkedIn is a great resource because you can message people directly and they can see your resume online.
Another way to find an unadvertised internship is to have a company create a position for you. If you notice that a company in your field can benefit from a skill that you have, reach out to them and offer them your services. This approach is focused on what you can do for the company, rather than what the company can do for you. Find a contact in the company and describe your skills and send examples of what you can offer them. If they feel that they can benefit from you, the newly created position is guaranteed to be yours.
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