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5 Tips for Finding an Internship at a Reputable and Well Respected Business

Mon, Oct 11, 2010

Internship Uncategorized

Every college student dreams of nabbing an internship with a reputable and well respected company, if for no other reason than that it will allow them to put a prestigious name on their resume. Of course, the hope is that you will actually gain some valuable, practical experience in the process that prepares you for the working world. And most students are keeping their fingers crossed that the internship will turn into a job offer, even though this practice is relatively rare. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; the first order of business is to find quality internship opportunities at companies that can offer the respected name and sterling reputation you’re looking for. Here are just a few tips to help you suss out which companies will provide you with the best opportunities to advance when you opt to intern with them.

  1. Ask professors for their opinions. Many professors spent time working in a related field before they came to campus to prepare the next generation to take over. At the very least they are probably well aware of some of the top names in your chosen field. And since your professors know what you’re interested in doing with your life (provided you talk to them) they may be well suited to provide you with information that will help you to determine which options are preferable when it comes to taking an internship. Their knowledge and experience can work in your favor, but only if you take the time to ask.
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  3. Check postings. The majority of unpaid internships available to you will come through the campus via cooperative efforts between your college and local companies. If you’re looking to get college credit for your time in the corporate environment you need to make sure that the company you go with is approved, so choosing from amongst college listings is essential. Of course, if you don’t find a company that you think is suitable for building your resume (because the field isn’t in line with your chosen career) then you can always look for businesses you prefer that are offering paid internships instead, or see if you can work it out so that the time counts for credit (seek approval from your school).
  4. Research companies. When it comes to choosing an internship with a reputable and respected company, the onus is on you to choose wisely. So take your time and do some research. Even as you will be interviewed for internships, act as though you’re interviewing the companies to see if they’re able to meet your criteria. This will lead to a productive and mutually beneficial relationship.
  5. Cold call. Can’t find any internships with companies that meet your requirements? See if you can create opportunities with companies you’ve got your eye on by cold calling or stopping in and speaking to someone in the HR department. This group is generally in charge of hiring and even if they can’t offer you an unpaid internship (occasionally there are legal reasons holding them back), there’s no harm in asking about a paid internship or even an entry-level position that may be open.
  6. Get a foot in the door. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that helps you nab the job you’re looking for, and the same is true for internships. So once you’ve found a company that offers the reputation and level of industry cred you’re seeking (with or without online reputation management), you’ll want to spend some time cozying up to influential people that might eventually recommend you and help you to get a foot in the door and a real shot at a coveted internship.
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