5 things I wish I knew before: Choosing my internship
There are just a few people who know exactly what they want to do with their careers even before they graduate. And then, there is everyone else, walking towards graduation like a cave fish that has just been born. Choosing the right internship, however, is a key step to successful career development and it needs strategic thinking. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well… not after reading our five tips below!
Ask around for advice
Before you start sending out applications, talk to as many people as you can. Friends, classmates, family, professors … everyone! Ask for their advice and opinion; find out about their experiences and mistakes and learn from them, but also ask which role they believe would suit you best. Don’t hesitate to also ask whether they have any useful connections you could contact or to keep their eyes open for any positions you might find interesting.
Select the right company and the right job title
You are at the beginning of your career and mistakes in decisions are inevitable and usually harmless. However, try to think a bit ahead of time – some months or maybe years – and decide whether it would corroborate to have your name associated with a specific title or a particular company. Remember that it is always a plus to have some sort of a continuity and coherence on your CV – a logical connection between different experiences.
Choose challenge over convenience
Consider using your internship also as an opportunity to experiment with new tasks and explore new areas within your field. Choose a position that will help you grow as an individual and as a professional, a position that will add to your skillset.
Breaking into the field
Go for an internship that will not only help you gain valuable skills and experience but one that will also connect you to key players in your field. Making the right connections early on will help you pave your future career path. If used right, those connections might not only help you find another job after your internship but might also help you with work assignments in the future.
Leverage your program’s alumni network
Don’t hesitate to contact people from your university’s alumni network to ask for their help and advice, but also to find out if there are any interesting placements in their place of work. You could also search through their titles and organizations they work(ed) for to get a better idea of the employment possibilities in your field.
Don’t know how to start with writing your cover letter? Take a look at our previous blog on “ 5 things I wish I knew before: Choosing my internship“.
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