How to find the best internship for you

How to find the best internship for you

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How to find the best internship for you

An internship is a fantastic opportunity to gain new skills, boost your resume and kickstart your career. During an internship, you will develop both professionally and personally, and hopefully discover which career path is right (or wrong) for you. With an increasing number of companies and organizations offering what appear to be very similar placement, it can be difficult to determine which is most suited to you and your career aspirations. The team at InternAsia have put together some key pointers to consider, to help you discover which internship is best suited to you.

The experience you will gain at an internship is crucial in starting your career and boosting your resume. During an internship, you will develop both professionally and personally, and hopefully discover what motivates you and the industry into which you want to progress. However, with more and more companies and organizations offering internships that can seem very similar at first glance, it’s difficult to decipher which is most suited to your own career goals. The team at Intern Asia have put together some pointers that might help you discover which internship is best suited to you.

What are you hoping to achieve during your internship? To narrow down your search, identify future career goals as well as personal goals that you would like to achieve. For example, would you like to build your own portfolio to open more doors, in journalism for example; or would you like to work in a team on a broad range of projects? Think about your own strengths and weaknesses too. The ideal internship should be an opportunity to build your own skills, make your resume more unique, and help you develop a network. If you’re interested in finance, for example, banking is not the only place to look- many small start-up companies are looking for financial officers where you can make a bigger impact and be given more responsibility. In addition, make sure you understand what the role you’re applying for involves- it may be at your dream law firm, but the internship itself could be in a completely different department such as HR. Look for something unique that will stand out on your resume.

internship industryYour Interests = your industry

If you’re one of the lucky few who already know which career path to take, then you may already have an idea of the kind of internship you want. If, however you aren’t sure which industry to go into, then it’s a good idea to think about what interests you, or what you enjoy doing. For example, if there’s a particular subject or area of work that inspired you during your studies or previous work experience, why not consider roles related to that?

It’s important that you choose an industry that excites you, and one that you can picture yourself working in. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to try your hand at? If so, look into the possibility of doing so as an intern. The experience you gain from an internship will help you develop essential professional skills useful to many professions, making it the perfect opportunity to try possible areas of interest!

Your goals

When deciding which internship is right for you, it’s important to consider what you hope to achieve from the experience. Identify both your personal and professional goals and search for a role that will help you meet them. For example, would you like to build a portfolio to open more doors in a particular field, or do you hope to work in a team on a broad range of projects?

Equally, you should think about the skills you already have, and those you wish to gain. The ideal internship should provide an opportunity to build upon your existing skills, gain new ones and develop your resume. Look for a placement that will teach you things you wouldn’t learn in a classroom and that will give you the kind of experience you are looking for. For example, if you wish to pursue a career in a large international firm, work experience with one will give you a good start. Alternatively, if you hope to gain a broader experience of different departments, a placement in a smaller company could be right for you.

Before deciding on an internship, make sure you have thoroughly read the job description and asked your potential employer questions to ensure it will help you achieve your goals!

Your options

It’s easy to see why many students find the prospect of interning at a major global corporation and adding an impressive company name to their resume exciting. There’s no doubt that passing what’s likely to be a tough recruitment process is a remarkable achievement that won’t go unnoticed by future interviewers. However, it’s important to note that large companies are made up of large teams, and you’re likely to be one of many interns. Though this may indicate good training opportunities, you may not be given much responsibility.

Smaller, less well-known companies also hire interns to work alongside their teams. Smaller companies mean fewer employees, and great opportunity to get involved. Here, you are likely to meet more senior members of staff, contribute your ideas and make an impression. The training may not be as extensive, but you will certainly get hands-on experience that makes your resume stand out! Look beyond your comfort zone. A challenging internship will be a wonderful opportunity to develop and make your resume unique. Look beyond your own national borders- many companies offer international opportunities where you can experience the excitement of traveling to a new country as well as gaining valuable international experience and understanding a different professional culture. In addition, think about what doors your previous work experience could open.

Your preferred working environment

Another important factor to consider is what kind of environment you enjoy working in. Do you prefer working independently, or as part of a team? Would you like to be given a number of different tasks, or a few large projects? Do you work well under intense pressure, or in a more relaxed environment? Be sure to think about the type of setting you will be happiest in and use this to help you choose an internship, as this will shape your experience.

That said, it’s a good idea to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to develop your skills and improve your resume. Many companies, such as Internship Nepal offer international internship opportunities, which give you the chance to experience a foreign professional culture and working environment.

If you’d like to stand out from the crowd, why not look at internship and study programs? Companies like Zentern, Hutong School and Study and Intern Japan offer popular programs that combine work experience with language courses, and are a great way to boost your employability.

new jobYour network can open doors

Networking is an extremely powerful tool that can lead you to opportunities you may otherwise have missed. Use contacts at your university, or from your personal life to discover what options are available to you. You’ll be surprised at how many exciting opportunities arise from making the most of your contacts!

You should always try to build your network by attending alumni events or careers fairs at your university, networking events at different companies, and connecting with people on LinkedIn. Always follow up with people you’ve met through networking in order to leave a lasting impression. Taking these steps will enable you to meet existing employees of companies you’re interested in, learn about the company culture and open you up to new possibilities.

Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, you might discover that your chosen internship is not what you expected. If this happens, it’s important to realise that even negative experiences are valuable. Whether the placement meets your expectations or not, you will develop your skills, boost your resume and get closer to discovering what it is you want to do in the future.

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