Ohio University Office of Career Services


Internships: Path to your profession by Christy R

Internships: Path To Your Profession

Are you a college student looking to spend your summer with an organization in your career field? A recent graduate looking to gain experience in your field before entering the job market? Thinking about a career change and want to test the waters before you make the leap?

Securing an internship is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a career in your area of interest. You can find out what the job environment is like before jumping head-on into a full-time position. You can use the opportunity to meet new people, network, and use the experience to boost your résumé for a future job.

So, how do you go about snagging an internship?

Start your search early
Don’t wait! If you are looking for a summer internship, now is the time to begin your search. Start thinking about the field you would like to work in, and do your research to find the types of companies or organizations that are willing to take interns. Websites such as indeed.com, simplyhired.com, idealist.org, and internships.com are great resources to help you find a place that fits your needs.

Consider your options
Figure out what type of internship would work the best for you by narrowing down your options. Is it important for you to have a paid position? With regard to location, can you go anywhere or do you need to stick close to home? Will you get college credit? What kind of time commitment will it require? These are all important to think about when you begin your search.

Network
One of the best ways to find a job or internship is by connecting with professionals in the field. Don’t be afraid to reach out to talk with a professional about your area of interest. They may be hiring interns or could direct you to someone else that is. Attending career fairs is a great way to network and get your name out there as well. Try using the Bobcat Mentor Network to find Ohio University alumni in your profession. These individuals are willing to talk with young Bobcats, give career-related advice and answer any questions you may have about the field.

Polish your résumé and create a cover letter
Once you find a place where you want to apply, make sure that your résumé is tailored to highlight your experiences as they will relate to the internship. Create a cover letter for each individual position, detailing your past relevant activities and what you hope to gain from the experience. Stop in Career Services during walk-in hours if you would like us to take a look at your résumé and cover letter.

Go after it!
Send an email or make a phone call to inquire about openings. Tell the organization a little bit about yourself, what special skills you possess, and why you would like to work with that particular company.  Ask for information regarding the position, what you will be doing, and when you can start. Don’t forget to follow up if they don’t give you an immediate response.

Benefits to obtaining an internship

  1. You will get to shadow and learn what a “day-in-the-life” is like for individuals in your career field.
  2. You will gain hands-on experience in the field.
  3. You will have an opportunity to network with professionals in your area of interest.
  4. The individuals you are working with will be able to provide you with letters of recommendation for future employment or graduate school.
  5. Some internships may be compensated.

Whether you are a college student seeking experience prior to starting a full-time job, or a professional looking to make a career change, try an internship! It’s possible that your performance in an internship might just land you a full-time job.

For other career-related assistance and information, visit our website.

—Contributed by Kelli Swackhamer, Practicum Student for the Office of Career Services

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[…] in, you may decide to explore what it would be like to work in the field. Consider trying an internship to acquire experience in your area of interest. This is a great way to determine whether a certain […]

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