Unless you’ve finished an extraordinary college, or you are simply going to work in your family’s firm, you will have to deal with an internship. Growing companies are always looking for young, motivated employees. And one of the best ways of finding them is by offering internships. So, once you start thinking about your life after college, know that you will most likely go through at least one internship. But, how are you supposed to prepare for internships in the United States? Furthermore, what should you expect to learn from them? Don’t worry. We are going to cover all the must-know aspects of internships in this article.
Finding an internship is going to be a lot like finding a job. So, it should come as no surprise that preparing for internships is also quite similar. The major difference is that companies tend to be more understanding of rookie mistakes as no one expects you to prepare perfectly. So, even preparing for an internship abroad will serve as a great learning experience, which, as you will soon find out, is what internships are all about.
Creating a CV
The first thing you will need to deal with is making a CV. There are numerous job seekers that spend years looking for work simply because they couldn’t be bothered to learn how to make a decent CV. So, now is the perfect time to deal with your CV properly and figure out how to make it right. Start off by listing your skills and motivations. Keep in mind that your CV needs to be short and sweet (a page long at the most). So, don’t overcrowd it with unnecessary info. Simply outline what you can do and what you are looking forward to learning. If you present it well and put a nice picture, you will be in the top 30% CV-quality vise.
Writing a decent CV is something that you need to learn.
It is usually the larger companies that have internship positions for which you will not have to go through an interview. Those companies usually have their own set of tests to figure out who the right people for them are. But, those companies are few and far in-between. For most internships, you will have to deal with an internship interview. And, it would do you a world of good to prepare. Study up on how to express yourself and how to prepare properly. Giving the impression of a young, motivated professional is what you are looking for. But, doing so is not always easy. Especially in a high-stress situation like an internship interview.
Cover letter and recommendations
Last but not least, you want to get a cover letter and recommendations. Your CV should outline who you are and what you want to do. On the other hand, your cover letter needs to paint a picture of why a company should hire you (first for an internship, and later for work). It also needs to be short and sweet, and it needs to describe why you’ll be a valuable asset to the company.
How to apply for internships in the United States
Now that you know how to prepare properly, let’s go over the actual procedure. Applying for internships in the United States is pretty straightforward. Companies that offer internships will post so on their website. All you need to do is to look for a company that you wish to intern in and contact them.
Looking for a company
One thing we would like you to keep in mind is that most people have one, maybe two internships in their life. So, it is quite important to find a good company to intern in, as it will be an important part of your future CV. Our advice is to find a serious company that is known for dealing with large projects. If this means moving to a larger city like Miami or NYC, go for it. Know that relocating your belongings anywhere in Miami is easier than ever.
Larger companies are usually a better choice for internships in the United States.
After your internship, you can focus on your niche line or work. But, for starters, try to focus on getting as much experience as possible. Even small companies value internships in large ones. However, large companies do not value internships in smaller companies. So, the larger and more serious the company you do your internship in, the more valuable your internship will be.
Don’t expect that you’ll find your internship right off the bat. In most cases, you will have to apply a couple of times in order to get picked. This is usually because there is a lot of competition and not all applicants can be admitted. So, don’t shy away from showing persistence and apply for as long as necessary, especially if you are looking for internships in a different country. This is also why you should start looking for an internship as soon as possible.
What to expect out of your internship
In a nutshell – experience. Some internships in the United States do lead to job promotions and further career development. But, in most cases, the biggest benefit of your internship will be the experience. You will learn how a company functions and whether that line of work is what you want to pursue. Furthermore, you will find out about work dynamics and corporate attitudes. Knowledge such as this will prepare you for your future as you will have a first-hand insight of what your industry is like. No college can give you this, which is why internships are a must for any serious student.
Internships are a great opportunity to learn how a company functions.
The final tip we have for you is to stay as attentive as possible during your internship. Simply doing it for the CV won’t do you much good. To truly reap the benefits of your internship, learn as much as possible and as fast as possible.