For college students, internships are one means of achieving the final goal of finding gainful employment after graduation. An internship can be a pipeline into a good salaried job at a respectable organization, but it is necessary to realize that the competition for spots is often intense. The staff at Arkansas Baptist College, a HBCU in Little Rock, is ready to help students compete on the highest level.
When you prepare to apply for an internship, think long term. Survey all the companies around your home town. Think about which ones will be the best fit for you. Can you see yourself working at the company for a few years after you graduate? Does the company culture match with your personal philosophy? Do they have a strong record with diversity? There are resources on the web to help you investigate what current and former employees think about the company like Glassdoor or Linkedin.
You may be looking at an internship opportunity as a way to pick up cash. The company may be looking at you as a potential full-time employee. You should treat the application process with that in mind. Fine tune your resume. Practice doing an interview with friends or a helpful professor.
For whatever field you apply for an internship in, you will have to show that you possess certain basic skills such as the following:
Great communicator –
this is why you practice your interviews before you go. You want to show enthusiasm, eloquence, and energy during the short period you have with potential bosses. You should appear knowledgeable, but have a variety of interests. Most of all you want them to know you can get along with them, and that they will miss you when your internship is over.
The communication demonstration may start with a cover letter that you should include with any application. This document must be pristine. It should be pithy and professional. Explain why you want to join the industry while demonstrating knowledge of what it is they do.
Multitasking skills –
One after effect of corporate downsizing is that one person today may be doing the job of three people. In a fast moving corporate setting or understaffed non-profit, you will have to be organized enough to do many things at once. Be ready to show your abilities in this area, preferably through tangible examples.
Do not be sloppy with any part of preparing for your application and interview. It should be self-evident; however, many fail this basic test of competency.
Do not apply for just any internship because you feel a need to pad your resume. Move with conviction knowing that you are preparing for a new phase in life. That said, do not apply for just a few internships, either. Find a balance between targeted applications and covering all the bases in your area.
Do not fib or inflate your skills and experience. It will catch up to you eventually with long-term negative implications for your career.
As a student at Arkansas Baptist College, there are many internship opportunities available throughout Arkansas. Wayup, Arkansas Justice, and Arkansas Heritage are just a few places you can start when you begin your internship search. Other options include Indeed.com and internships.com. Best of all, don’t forget to visit company job pages. Internships are listed under the job or career section for many companies.
One of the benefits of the HBCU experience is having a strong support system to help you move from student to career person with ease. Arkansas Baptist College, an HBCU in Arkansas, has helped thousands of young people become productive and influential members of their communities. Contact us today by calling (877) 643-5390 to find out how we can help.