Time to Fall into an Internship

September is fast approaching and that means it’s time for fall internship programs. Internships are a smart choice for students active in a wide range of studies. It’s the best way to assess a career choice, build new skills and get your foot in the door for a career after college. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2009 Experiential Education Survey, “67.7% of 2007-2008 interns were offered fulltime positions.” If you want to improve your odds of getting a plummy internship in the city, check out these quick tips.

Conduct Meaningful Research
Go beyond the quick fifteen-minute perusal of the company’s website. Get to know the company, its products, its competition, financial situation and the latest company news surrounding this company and its industry. Whatever the company’s product or service is, get to know it intimately. For example, if you are seeking a gig at a radio station, you better listen day and night until you know the format and personalities of the station.

Communicate Your Value
What unique skills, knowledge and experience do you possess that would be an asset to the company? Most interns come to the table empty-handed looking to gain experience. Set yourself apart by showing how you can be productive. You can communicate your value through your résumé, social media presence and your interview.

Fall into an Internship (Photo: iStockphoto)

(Photo: iStockphoto)

Be Enthusiastic
A wise candidate selects intern opportunities that fit her academic interests and professional goals. Don’t hesitate to talk about why you chose your career path and what makes it so exciting to you. Nobody wants to hire someone who is just biding their time. Employers want an engaged and committed team member.

Internships can be a setting to establish a meaningful mentorship experience. Employers benefit as well by having a steady stream of potential employees entering the program. Although September is just around the corner, it is not too late to venture out and find an internship that will help add value to your résumé, as well as provide value to a company.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at debra@careersdonewrite.com.