I recently got asked the following question by a 3rd year University student:
‘Do you have any recommendations regarding finding an internship?’
Finding an internship is one of the most pivotal things a student can do for their career. It gives them exposure to a business environment in their field and establishes key contacts that they will need when they graduate.
I did a couple internships when I was in school at AIM Trimark Investments, Kids Help Phone and Alliance Atlantis. All were key in helping me build my confidence and getting experience in marketing that eased my transition into my first job when I graduated.
If you are looking for an internship this Summer I would recommend doing the following:
1. Visit your School Career Center:
- Check to see if your school has a career center. Most schools have an internship program where you can submit your resume and they match you up with an organization. Other schools have a career binder with job postings where you can apply yourself. This is a great place to start and how I got my internships when I was in school
2. Attend a Job Fair at School:
- Most schools invite companies to recruit students for internships so ensure you keep your eyes open for these events. It’s a great opportunity to hear about the culture of companies and see what opportunities they have for students.
3. Get a profile on Indeed.com/Other Job Forums
- Indeed.com is an awesome job board that aggregates all job postings on one site. If you set up an account, indicate that you are looking for Internships than you can have postings sent to your email everyday. Monster.ca and Workopolis.ca are also great sites for you to monitor and set-up profiles.
4. Search for connections on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn is my favourite social networking site because you can meet and connect with people in your profession or in companies you would like to work for. After you build up your LinkedIn profile, start doing some searches of companies you’d like to work for. Once you find a few key people in those companies, send them an invite and ask them if they would be willing to do an ‘information interview’ with them. Most will say yes and that’s how you can start building a rapport with key contacts and if you’re lucky, they may have an internship opportunity for you or know of someone that has one.
5. Reach out to your Network
- Talk to your friends and family to see if anyone knows of any opportunities. Also talk to your Professors to see if they know of any key contacts that could help you. The best way to ensure you find something is always by someone who knows someone. I remember when my younger sister was trying to find an internship I reached out to my network and she was able to get an opportunity at one of Toronto’s best advertising agencies DDB. The wife of one of my best friend’s had worked with a sister agency of DDB so through that connection my sister scored an interview and gained an internship which eventually turned into a full-time position when she graduated.
It still amazes me that all companies don’t capitalize on young talent like interns. Interns are one of the most productive members of a team and most have amazing attitudes and work ethics. They are eager to learn and soak up knowledge. Interns are powerful and the future leaders of tomorrow.