A few weeks ago we published a post on how to find summer interns for your business, written, of course, from the employer’s perspective. Just a couple of days ago, the Wall Street Journal put out an article with advice for those looking to land one of those sought after internships.
Most of us know that an internship is a great way for students nearing the end of their college careers, or the recently graduated to not only obtain valuable exprience in their field of choice, but many times it gets their foot in the door, so to speak, of a potential long-term employer. Many unpaid, or slightly paid internships result in full blown employment opportunities for the interns as they are much more familiar with the business, and the culture, requiring little or no additional training. When compared to bringing someone totally new in off the street, most employers chose to bring their interns on board permanently.
Unfortunately, according to the WSJ article, the number of internships available from employers in the public sector has decreased significantly in recent years, and especially in the last two. This is making it difficult for students and young workers to find good internships that could help move their careers along. However, according to a recent survey, government internship opportunities have increased by about 40%, which experts say is no doubt due to the recent economic legislation aimed at creating job opportunities and aiding the ailing economy, which would of course increase the staffing requirement of government agencies involved.
This is understandably leading many students and young workers to consider the government as a potential source of internship opportunities. The experience obtained will still be valuable and add polish to any resume, and there is a chance, as always, that the intern may find even more rewarding work than they expected.
With the generally decreased availability of internships floating around, it has the effect of also increasing the competiveness in landing one. Many students are finding that older, once reliable methods of finding these positions, such as college placement services, are no longer sufficient to the task. Just like in any job search in today’s world, networking has often proven invaluable in uncovering opportunities that might have been overlooked, and the same applies to finding internships. Not only that, but interning can be a great way to add to your network.
Some students are approaching employers directly, whether there is an advertised need for an intern or not. Many have met with success in ‘creating’ a tailor made intern position for themselves and even gone on to land more permanent employment.
Have any of you had success in finding an internship, and if so, did you find that you had to be more creative in your approach? Was there stiffer competition for these positions? If you have any tips to share when hunting intern opportunities please share them with us in the comments section!