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How to Find an Internship: Use Your School's Career Resources

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Looking for an internship? Go to your school's career events.

Looking for an internship? Go to your school's career events.

When I first started college, I had no idea how to find an internship. All the upperclassmen I met seemed to have amazing internships, but I didn't know where to start looking.

Luckily, I realized that they hadn't had to go far. My school had tons of ways to find internships! I just had to take the initiative and explore them. Here are 3 easy ways for you to use your school's career resources to find an internship.

1. Meet With an Adviser

Before you begin searching for an internship, I think it's very important to first meet with an informed faculty member. Requirements for for-credit internships can be complicated, so it's good to meet with an expert.

Most schools have career counselors whose job it is to answer these questions. Make sure you ask about internship requirements, and about any paperwork you need to fill out or classes you need to take. Finding this out in advance can help you plan out your internship career. The counselor might also be able to discuss options specific to your needs.

Additionally, meeting with a faculty member within your major can help you find the perfect internship. Your teachers are often part of the industry you are trying to get into, and they might have great advice about your career path.

2. Attend Internship Fairs and Events

Many schools hold internship fairs for their students. My college holds them in the early fall and spring. This is a great opportunity for you to meet with representatives in person and make an impression. Your school might have specific guidelines for the event, but often, students are expected to dress professionally, bring their résumés, and come prepared with questions.

Even if you're not planning on getting an internship immediately, an internship fair is a great opportunity for you to check out your options and ask about what you should be doing to secure your dream internship. I found it very helpful to attend one my freshman year, and now I know which companies to look out for when applying to internships.

In addition to internship fairs, many schools offer seminars and events on successfully applying to internships. Check the career services section of your school's website for these dates and further information.

3. Utilize Online Resources

My school offers a portal for finding internships online. Businesses interested in finding interns can post on this website, and their legitimacy is confirmed by my school. I check this site often, and I've found that it's very helpful in providing accurate information about applications and expectations.

It's also easy to browse. I can find internships specific to my major or to a certain city. Check with your career counselor or school's website to see if your school offers such a portal, or ask if they recommend a good internship-discovery website. Many schools, like mine, can also provide email updates about available internships to interested students.

Using your school as a resource, it's easy to find many legitimate, educational internships. This summer, I found my dream internship at a satirical publication through my school's recommended internship-finding website, and I plan on attending my school's internship fair this fall to find opportunities for the coming school year. Once I've found one, I'll meet with an adviser to discuss whether it fits in with my career path.

Remember, you don't have to look far to know how to find an internship. Your school is meant to help with your career, so it should have the answers.

Image source: Flickr