5 Tips for Finding That Perfect Internship Match

Internships aren’t just resumé fodder.

They’re opportunities to get hands-on experience in your desired field. They’re chances for growth, exploration, and connection within your expertise and beyond.

That’s why you should seek your perfect internship match — and that’s not necessarily with a Fortune 500 company.

As UConn MBA student Jasdeep Singh advises, you shouldn’t let your perceived “perfect” internship interfere with finding the right one. Therefore, we’ve written a list of tips on sourcing the internship that’ll boost your future to new heights.

1. Understand Full Scope of Your Career Interests

Construct an idea of what you want, but don’t fret over the specifics. Take time to consider all your interests and how they could broaden your career options.

Are you a finance major, but love film and TV? Consider a business internship with a production company. Maybe you’re in an artistic field, but have a passion for mental health care. Try interning at a health facility or outreach program that emphasizes arts rehabilitation.

The world is your oyster; there’s no need to limit yourself.

2. Use Your Network

Discuss your career interests with college advisors, career counselors, faculty, friends, and even family. 70% of opportunities remain unlisted, and about 85% of jobs are secured through networking. It’s in your best interest to utilize your circle, you may discover opportunities no one else has access to.

Don’t forget your network also includes alumni, even if you haven’t met them personally. Just be sure to send a thank you to anyone who’s helped you along the way.

3. Start Early

Minimize stress by starting your search and application process early. Grant yourself wiggle room to check out your options, talk to people, research companies, and apply.

Companies don’t always offer internships year-round, so keep your deadline dates organized. Research every opportunity, but know what time-sensitive material to prioritize.

For the standard summer or winter internships, applications can open several months in advance. Applications surge a few weeks leading up to a deadline, so stand out by getting your materials in early.

The most important takeaway here is don’t procrastinate, or you risk missing out.

4. Hone Your Interview Skills

No matter the internship, you’ll face an interview process. You can prep by:

  • Researching interview questions
  • Staging mock interviews for practice
  • Learning all you can about the company
  • Preparing questions for your interviewer about the position

Interviews give the chance to discuss your qualification in-depth and to see if the company is the right fit for you. Preparing for the process will help you communicate your points effectively (and communication is one of the top values employers seek).

5. Consider Immediate Needs Alongside Future Goals

You may run into the dilemma of finding a fantastic internship that promises future success but doesn’t consider your immediate needs.

If money is vital right now, don’t opt for an unpaid position that drains your savings. The opportunity cost of unpaid internships is about $13,000. Narrow your search to paid opportunities to remain on a steady track forward.

And if finances aren’t a concern? Carefully comb through prospects for what provides the best learning opportunity and helps you gain professional skills.

Final Thoughts — Take These Tips with You

Keep your prospects open, use your network for personalized help, and give yourself the time you need.

Keep these tips, and your best interests, in mind during your search. It’ll take some hustle, but we’re confident you’ll find the internship that’s tailored completely to you.

8 Tips to Secure Admission to a Great Grad School

Aside from getting high grades in college and scoring well on the GRE, there are more things to consider when applying for graduate school. Fortunately, you can already start preparing even if you are still taking undergraduate studies. This is a great way to utilize your strengths and improve your weaknesses as early as possible to build a competitive profile. Take advantage of different opportunities that can help influence your application for grad school.

Regardless of the path you want to pursue, don’t forget to make the most of your college courses. This will not only help boost your skills and confidence but could also lead you to your dream school. As you learn and experience new things during your undergraduate journey, you also prepare yourself for your next journey. It is best to get a good score in GRE with minimal effort with professional prep materials and invest the rest of your time in making the overall application stronger.  So, here are some tips to help you secure admission to the best grad schools:

1)      Analyze your options

First things first, ask yourself if you want to go to graduate school. Take time to analyze your academic and career goals in attending grad school. After all, dedicating at least two more years to doing homework, reports, research, and more is not a joke. On top of that, enrolling in grad school means spending thousands of dollars on top of whatever loans you may already have out. Remember, though grad school is becoming more of the norm, there are many valid reasons why you may not be ready for it at this time.

Once you’ve thought through your goals and have decided to pursue a graduate degree, you can start preparing yourself right away. Of course, your preparation starts with your chosen field and the goals you set for yourself. Your choice of degree may stem from an area where you’re competent or even passionate. A degree that combines both would lead to the most satisfying results throughout the years.

2)      Join different clubs or organizations

One of the best ways to discover new skills and indulge in your interest is to join different clubs or organizations. You can even meet new people outside your usual circle of friends, classmates, and department. Joining professional clubs and social clubs can help you determine the depth of your interests. Your performance can also show how much you want to be part of a community in your school.

Taking leadership roles can help you build your leadership skills and be more responsible. Many admission officers prefer applicants who show commitment and determination to grow as leaders while they mature. With this in mind, it’s better to stay dedicated to clubs for more than a single semester. As much as possible, participate in activities starting when you’re freshman until you’re a senior.

 

3)      Enhance your presentation skills

Whatever your line of profession, working on your verbal skills is very important. If you are a timid person, you can start by practicing your verbal and presentation skills. This can make your regular classwork become practice for the bigger target audience you have in mind for grad school.

Grab the opportunities to give a speech to your entire department or even the student body. The more experience you gain, the more you get used to it and boost your confidence. Over time, talking in front of people, regardless of how large the group, will be easier. This way, presenting everything you need for an admissions interview won’t be a problem as long as you’re well-prepared and confident.

4)      Enter contests

Believe it or not, entering academic contests can also help boost your application for grad school. Of course, contests related to sports could make your profile interesting but let’s focus on the academic accomplishments first. For instance, there are entrepreneurship case competitions, poetry competitions, and robotic competitions. If you’re lucky to spot one that you have some skill in, you can also enter scholarship competitions to help support your grad school.

5)      Volunteer for community projects

Being a volunteer can help you engage yourself in new environments where you can also meet different people. You can be a volunteer worker in social groups where you can teach kids. At the same time, you can learn about other people’s lives and experiences as you join in more projects. Aside from gaining precious experience, the project could also become eye-opening as you know yourself more.

Moreover, the more time and effort you invest in these kinds of projects, the more recognition you can get. Depending on your performance, your academic project could even lead to a publication. Who knows, the faculty or head of the project could even write you a recommendation when the time comes.

6)      Get an internship or part-time job experience

Aside from the mentioned points, your job experience is one of the things that leaves a huge impact on grad schools. If you are planning to apply to a business school, a part-time job or an internship can help you gain more experience. Regardless of how long your time is in the workplace, your work experience can help you build your profile and increase your chance of being admitted to a great grad school.

Of course, you also have to work hard and impress your boss if you want to build bridges. You have to show them how motivated you are to learn new things and improve yourself on your chosen path. Eventually, internships could also help you land a full-time job after you graduate from college. Though working full time can take you longer to finish your master’s degree, it may be worth it if the job is in your field. If you still have student loans and rent to pay, you may have to work while studying to accomplish your goal.

7)      Create an impressive resume and LinkedIn profile

The resume is one of the most vital elements that Admission Officers always review when accepting applicants. It provides a quick overview of your personal, academic, and professional experience so be sure to include everything in it. Add your experience, work history, and accomplishments to show how much you have grown over the years. This way, you can see how you shift from your undergraduate part-time jobs to your professional career.

It is also best to create a LinkedIn account. Build your LinkedIn profile as early as possible and ensure that your offline network is connected to you. Double-check the details on your profile to provide concise but interesting information about your background.

8)      Build a good relationship with faculty

Most graduate programs require 2 letters of recommendation from someone who personally knows you. Starting to build a good and long-lasting academic relationship between you and your college professors is helpful. You can bond over your shared interests and work together on an academic project which you can add on your profile. If you want to apply as an undergraduate without any professional experience yet, then this will be even more important.

Conclusion

Securing admission to the best grad schools is easier said than done. Although some of the tips above may seem like “no-brainers”, they work as vital elements in your application. As part of your preparation, it’s good to put yourself out there and grab the opportunities that come your way. Explore your passion and know what you need. Having high grades in the GRE is not enough if you lack confidence or cannot demonstrate your commitment to academics, leadership, the community, etc.