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What to look for in an internship

Monday, July 22, 2013

Securing a good internship is essential for most college students. Therefore, it is never too early to begin the search for an internship, as competition for positions at leading firms can be fierce. While high school seniors may be tempted to put off looking for an internship until they've actually enrolled in college, striking while the iron is hot and getting a head start could provide them with opportunities they would otherwise miss.

A good match
When looking for an internship, focus your energies on a position that aligns with your career goals or at least your college major. While an internship does offer the opportunity to  explore working in different fields, be realistic about the skill set you bring to the table and honestly determine if these skills are applicable to your internship choice.

Once you have determined the type of company at which you want to work, begin researching possible contacts at these firms. Identify prominent individuals and begin following them on social media platforms such as Twitter. Don't be afraid to reach out and initiate a conversation with these people, as this can demonstrate drive, ambition and initiative.

Focus on priorities
Some students gravitate toward internships that offer fringe benefits such as food or transportation stipends, while others focus on paid positions. Although these factors can be important, the most crucial aspect of any internship is how much you will learn and how you can use this knowledge during your actual job search after graduation.

Many companies clearly state the responsibilities expected of their interns when advertising the position; but what do you do if you're cold calling companies and asking about internship opportunities? During discussions with hiring managers, ask what you can expect to learn during your time with the firm. Will you acquire any new skills? Can these qualities set you apart from your peers when looking for work?

The big picture
Something else to consider is whether an internship could lead to an offer of employment at its conclusion. The job market has never been more competitive for recent graduates, and anything that can increase your chances of securing that elusive first job should factor into your decision. Some students shy away from asking hiring managers if they recruit interns from within, but being direct about your employment prospects shows that you are thinking about your long-term goals and taking your future career seriously. - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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Pace University
Known for its exceptional academic experience and preparing students for careers, 1,200 students yearly participate in the University internship program, the largest in the NY metro area.

Mount Aloysius College
Our liberal arts core curriculum provides the necessary basis for leadership and the knowledge and skills for success in a wide range of professions.

Roger Williams University
Come for the 40+ majors, 20 varsity athletics teams and 60+ clubs and orgs, stay for the top-rated food and waterfront views.

Lesley University
Offering degrees that prepare students to become leaders in education, human services, the arts and environmental studies.

Niagara University
Niagara University emphasizes ethics, lifelong learning, and service to others to prepares for lives and careers that are both successful and fulfilling.

Polytechnic Institute of NYU
Polytechnic Institute of NYU is New York metropolitan's major educational resource in science and technology education and research.

University of Phoenix
U of P Online, a true innovator in distance education, allows students to earn their degrees and advance their careers - all online.

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