Want to know how to secure an internship while in college? Do you also wish to do an internship at a cool company?
Remember that one lucky friend who had a blast during the summer internship?
Internships are an amazing way to learn new skills, gain valuable experience, and is an amazing step towards securing your career. Believe it or not, internships are more important than your grades.
This blog breaks down the process of getting an internship to the absolute ground!
An internship while in college is a skill-based position offered by a company for a limited period of time. The company hires people for about 1-6 months and give them a small amount of work.
Now you might wonder why would companies need interns when they already have so many people in their company?
Let’s find out.
Why do companies need interns?
Big corporations recruit thousands of students every year as well as train them to put them on projects. An intern is given two types of training:
- General training, and
- Project-specific training
General training happens once the recruits join the office. This training usually goes on for about 3-4 months.
The company then puts people in different project groups. For this reason, the interns get project-specific training for another 1-2 months.
The recruits blend in as well as get accustomed to the work culture due to training. This results in smoother work experience for both the intern and the company.
To reduce the hassle while recruiting candidates, employers would prefer candidates who have already interned at their company or a similar company. This results in the recruiters being able to filter out people who have absolutely no idea about the kind of work and skills required for that job.
On the contrary, startups recruit part-time interns and freelance interns. Startups speed things up and get things done quickly by hiring students who want to do internships while in college .
Different types of internships
Internships can be broadly classified into two types:
Skill based internships
- Based on soft skills
- Based on hard skills.
Soft skills are the skills that will help you work with other people. You usually learn them through your social interactions and life experiences. The more you interact, the better you get at them. The better you get at them, the more you increase your chances of getting a full-time offer.
So make it a priority to learn them.
Besides, you don’t have to allocate 1-2 months just to learn these soft skills.
Sales, marketing and business development internships are the ones that primarily require soft skills. These skills include persuasion, being a team player, negotiation, and good communication skills.
Moreover, knowing different languages can also turn out to be a great benefit.
Hard skills are more technical in nature. Therefore, you cannot acquire them in a day or two.
To show the company that you actually possess these hard skills, you’ll need to do personal projects and put them up online and on your resume.
Work from home vs in-house internships
Similarly, these internships are also differentiated as work from home or in-house.
During work from home internship, you will be guided typically through video chats. Moreover, a team leader will coordinate with you by giving you a timeline for the internship
Work from home internship offers many designers and content writers a chance to begin.
Campus ambassador programs also fall under work from home internships and they’re longer in duration.
As a campus ambassador, you will be the point of contact between your company and your college. You’ll typically organise events or conduct other Marketing, Business Development or sales related Operations on a weekly basis.
With the addition of having to work from an office space, in-house internships offer everything mentioned above
Being in the office environment has its own perks. It makes you more productive, gets you acquainted with the work culture as well as helps you build your network.
Let’s say that you join as an intern at an IT firm.
Not only will you get to learn from practical work but also valuable things like:
- How projects are delivered,
- How the software is deployed,
- And how the flow of work is monitored and managed.
How to get an internship?
Its time to address the real question…
How do you get an internship while in college?
The task of securing an internship is half done if you have a good resume. Once you’ve made a kickass resume, it’s time to find internships suitable to you and your skillset. And then finally, start applying
If you don’t yet have the required skill set for the internship, don’t worry. You can always take some time and learn by taking up courses.
Likewise, you can take a general internship at the same company you wish to work for and learn from that.
For example, if you are pursuing mechanical engineering, lookup organisations that produce goods or have some kind of a service center. Get in touch with them and ask them for in-plant training. You can even send them an email requesting the same.
Do not forget about certificates but don’t keep them in mind
Certificates are important, no doubt. They are the only proof of the work you’ve done in that company!
But that doesn’t mean you go for an internship just for the sake of getting a certificate. Go for internships for the experience, set of skills and the network you could build.
The general internships will usually be unpaid but you’ll get good exposure and build more contacts.
Now we know that unpaid internships aren’t exactly motivating. Also, you wouldn’t be wrong by saying that a lot of companies violate certain ethics in the name of “exposure.”
But when you are just starting out, not to mention probably having zero work experience, you can easily afford a few short term unpaid internships.
Moreover, having the attitude to learn over the focus to earn can benefit you a lot in the beginning.
A simple tip
Some unethical companies also try to make a fool out of students in the name of pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing strategies.
The image of the man claiming to make you a millionaire via chained marketing just popped in your head
Don’t fall for these internships just for the sake of certificates or money. If you’ve heard of companies like Amway and Ebiz, they used to run on some really shady strategies to acquire more customers.
They got into trouble for it.
If you have a particular company in mind where you want to intern at, say Zomato. You could simply send them a mail directly or tweet them or even dm them on Instagram.
Moreover, you could also get in touch with the employees of that company. LinkedIn can help you find them. Once you do, ask them for an internship in the department you are interested in.
If you work hard during your internship while in college, you could also get a pre-placement offer. If the people at your company like you and your work, chances are they’ll hire you for a similar position.
Finally, the more you go out and talk to people about getting an internship, the better your chances are of landing one.
Keep calm and keep trying. You’ll get the right internship while in college this semester!