Summer internships are a great way to try out a field you might be interested in, gain experience, and make connections in the industry. Both unpaid and paid internships allow you to gain valuable work experience and build your resume.
But securing an internship can be challenging, especially if you wait until the spring to start your search. That’s why starting your search for summer internships in the winter is essential. By getting a head start on the competition, you’ll improve your chances of securing the perfect internship.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why you should secure your summer internship in the winter and offer some advice on how to get started.
Not Just for College Students: Why You Should do an Internship in High School
As a high school student, you may wonder if internships are really worth your time. After all, you’re not even sure what you want to do after graduation, let alone what kind of career you want to pursue.
Here’s the thing: an internship is a perfect way to explore different careers and industries and get real-world experience before you even set foot on a college campus.
Here are several reasons why you should think about doing an internship while in high school:
- You can use your internship as college application material. An internship looks great on a college application, and it can help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. If you’re hoping to land a spot at a competitive school, an internship can give you a major advantage.
- You can earn college credit for your internship. Many schools offer college credit for internships, so you can actually get a head start while still in high school. Check with your guidance counselor to see if your school offers this option.
- Learn more about yourself. Having an internship while you’re in high school can help you understand what type of work you might like. Do you want to work in an office and on a computer, or are you more of a hands-on kind of person? You’ll also learn what you’re good at and not so good at. Perhaps you’re great at multitasking but really don’t like speaking in front of a group. Learning about yourself now can help you avoid wasting time or money later on pursuing a degree that doesn’t suit you.
An internship program designed specifically for high school students can help you find the right company and guide you through the process of getting ready to work.
The Importance of Internships
Internships are a great way to obtain new skills, gain experience in your desired field, and make industry connections.
You can explore different careers.
An internship is a perfect way to try out a career that interests you. If you don’t yet know what you want to do after college graduation, an internship will give you some real-world experience to help you make a decision.
You can build your resume.
An internship will give you the opportunity to add relevant work experience and skills to your resume, which will come in handy when you’re applying for jobs after graduation.
You can make industry connections.
While interning, you’ll have the chance to network with people who work in the field that interests you. These connections could lead to job opportunities down the road, so it’s definitely worth taking advantage of them while you can.
Paid internships help you pay for college.
Let’s face it, college can be expensive. But if you can land a paid internship while you’re in school, it can help offset some of those costs. And if you do a great job, you might even be offered a full-time position when you graduate.
Different Types of Internships to Consider
When it comes to internships, there are a few different routes you can take. You can choose to do an unpaid internship, a paid internship, or even an international internship. Each type of internship has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to weigh your options before making a decision.
Unpaid internships are often seen as the most prestigious type of internship, as they are usually only offered to the most qualified candidates. Since these positions are not compensating interns with money, you usually gain in other ways—like additional instruction, encouragement to grow, and/or college credit. That’s what makes them so attractive! However, unpaid internships can also be the most difficult to secure. If you’re set on doing an unpaid internship, start your search early and be prepared to sell yourself to potential employers.
Paid internships are an excellent option for those who need to earn money over the summer. While paid internships may not be as prestigious as unpaid ones, they can still provide valuable experience and skills development. Plus, securing a paid internship is often easier than landing an unpaid one.
International internships are a great way to get global experience while completing your degree. However, these types of internships can be very competitive and may require additional language skills. If you’re interested in an international internship, start your search early and be prepared to demonstrate your language abilities.
Remote or Online Internships
A remote internship is a good option for students who want to work from home or cannot relocate. An online internship is also a convenient option for those who cannot commit to a full-time internship. Remote internships can be found in various industries and offer a flexible way to gain experience. One important thing to remember when choosing an online internship is that it is still essential to make a good impression and work in a professional manner.
When choosing an internship, be sure to consider your career goals and what type of experience you hope to gain. There is no singular “right” type of internship; instead, the “right” internship for you is one that matches your interests and needs.
How to Find the Right Summer Internship
Securing a summer internship can be a competitive process, and it’s never too early to start thinking about one. In fact, many employers begin recruiting for summer internships months in advance, so it’s best to start your search early. The sooner you start your search, the better your chances are of finding the perfect match.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right summer internship:
- Know what you want. Before you start your search, take some time to think about what you’re looking for in an internship. What type of company do you want to work for? What kinds of tasks do you hope to accomplish? Having a clear idea of your goals will make it easier to narrow down your options and find the right internship for you.
- Start early. The best internships go fast, so you’ll need to start your search early. Winter is the perfect time to start looking, as many companies begin their recruiting process in the spring. By starting your search now, you’ll have a better chance of securing a spot in the program of your choice.
- Use your resources. Ask around and see if anyone you know has connections at companies that offer internships. Utilize online resources like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to research different companies and see if they offer internships that align with your interests.
- Reach out to companies directly. Once you’ve identified a few companies that look promising, reach out and introduce yourself! Many times, simply expressing interest can go a long way in securing an internship position.
- Tailor your applications. Take the time to customize each application to the specific internship you’re applying for. Generic applications are less likely to stand out amongst the competition. (Also, customizing each application reduces the risk of submitting an essay with the wrong company name.)
- Highlight your skills and experience. When applying for an internship, highlight any relevant skills or experience you have—even if it’s from a previous job or another type of work experience. Crafting a great cover letter can help get you noticed and land an interview.
- Be prepared for interviews. Once you start the interview process, brush up on your interviewing skills. Practice answering common interview questions, and come prepared with questions of your own. Don’t forget to follow up an interview with a thank-you note or email expressing your continued interest in the position.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect summer internship!
The Benefits of Securing Your Internship in the Winter
The benefits of securing your internship in the winter are numerous.
For one, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. The vast majority of students don’t start thinking about internships until the spring of their sophomore or junior year. By that point, many of the best opportunities have already been snapped up by students who started looking early. So by beginning your search in the winter, you’ll already be ahead of the game.
In addition, many companies begin their hiring process for summer internships in the winter. So if you secure your internship early on, you’ll have a better chance at getting your first choice of assignments and positions. And you won’t get shut out of the best and highest-paid internships available.
And about those highest-paid internships—many of them are in the tech or finance industries for large companies. They are highly competitive and may do their hiring six months to a year in advance! So you’ll need to start your internship search in the winter or even before. The highest-paid internships also may come with perks such as corporate housing, food, or transportation. And often, these companies will extend full-time offers with a successful completion.
Finally, by starting your internship search in the winter, you can take advantage of all the resources and tools that are available to help you find and secure the perfect position. There are many websites and online databases that can help you find internships that match your skills and interests. And most colleges and universities have career services offices that can assist you with your search as well.
How to Secure an Internship in the Winter
Here are some tips for securing an internship in the winter:
Begin your search early and be persistent. In the fall, start preparing for your job search by attending networking events and recruiting fairs at your college. You can also start researching companies in your field or local area that you might be interested in working for. Finally, start reaching out to people you know in the industry, such as alumni or family friends, for advice and information about potential job opportunities.
In the winter, start applying for internships that are posted online or that you hear about through your network. Be sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position and follow up with a phone call or email after you submit your application.
If the end of winter comes and you still need to secure an internship, don’t despair. There are still many opportunities available in the spring. You can also look into part-time jobs or volunteer positions that can give you the experience you need to land an internship in the future.
Off to Work, You Go!
With the right planning and preparation, securing a summer internship can be a great way to get ahead in your career. By starting your search early and taking advantage of all the resources available to you, you increase your chances of landing an internship that will help you gain the experience and skills you need to succeed in your field. So if you’re interested in securing a summer internship, start your search now—it could be the best decision you ever make for your career.
Unsure where to begin? Let Empowerly help you navigate the world of summer internships. Our college admission counseling services cover internships and all things related to the college admissions journey.
Contact one of our expert counselors today!