Initially this was not one of the topics I planned to write a blog on. I am an experienced recruiter, nor the path leading to my current internship is a typical and easily visible one for everyone to follow.
Still, I have learned a lot after what I have been through, and therefore hope that my experience could be more or less helpful for someone who is also starting their professional career.
From my experience, there are three sources which a student can keep an eye on to look for an internship. The first – and also the most distant – is the Internet. Yes, everything nowadays can be found on the Internet. Internship-searching sites are now everywhere. Websites like LinkedIn and Internblitz.com connect employers and candidates from all around the world, making the search for a job easier than ever. One search for keywords “data science internship” on Google brings around 93 million results. Even if only 1% of those results are useful, they are already more than enough for you to look at.
It was through LinkedIn that I first heard about AhaMove, the organization I am currently interning at. Therefore, personally this is a very useful source that has worked for me!
The second source is academic. Almost every college and university now has a career center in which students can ask for help on their CVs, learn about professional tips, and, most importantly, connect with alumni. Yes, alumni are the second source a student can look at for a job opportunity. They are employers or employees who were once students and in need of support just like you, so most of the times they understand and are very eager to help.
Though I have not used academic relationship in finding an internship, this source has been more than important to me. I came to Dickinson Career Center regularly to ask for feedbacks on my resume. More importantly, thanks to Dickinson’s internship grant I have been able to take on this wonderful opportunity at AhaMove, so I definitely recommend this second source anyone looking for internship.
Finally, the last source is personal. Look at your personal circle, the people around you, the connections you have made in college, in high school, around your home, or at the summer camp. Some of them may be recruiters looking for suitable candidates, while others are people who know the recruiters mentioned above. Some people may shy away from asking their personal connections for a job opportunity, but that’s a mistake. You are not asking for a job or an internship, you are only asking for an opportunity. If you are not a good fit for their organization, then so be it – nobody loses anything. But if you are, that’s totally a win-win situation. The key here is to always be confident, honest, and thankful no matter what the result is.
These three sources are from my personal experience. They are listed in the decreasing order of abundance and difficulty, with the first source having the largest number of opportunities for you to look at, but also being the most difficult to secure one. However, they are only based on my limited experience and I really wish to know more about professional opportunities and tips, so if you know about any other sources that will be helpful in finding and securing an internship please feel free to comment below!