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Twelve tips for finding an internship

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College Intern in office.jpgWe may still be in the thick of fall semester classes and gearing up for exams. But if you need an internship for the spring semester, now is the time to get moving. Believe it or not, there is only one month left till the winter break.

Here are twelve key tips to help you get underway and headed in the right direction:

1. Review the "Pursue an Internship" Page -- Start by reading the Career Toolkit page on the CEC website on internships. This outlines the key steps and provides access to further resources. 

2. Determine Your Focus - What kind of work experience do you want? What industry? What type of functional role? What specific companies do you want to target? The clearer you are about what you are looking for the easier it is to pursue opportunities. Ask yourself what your interests and objectives are - what do you really want to explore and learn more about?  This is your chance.

3. Visit Company Careers Pages - Especially in larger firms, the careers page will list their internship programs and and tell you how to proceed, whether for in-semester or summer internships when many firms run their formal programs. For an example, see the Student section of the Fidelity Investments Careers page.

4. Check out CareerLink - The Simmons online job board carries listings from organizations seeking to hire Simmons students. The CEC typically posts 50 or more new postings each week - many of which are internship opportunities - across all industries. Go to Careerlink.Simmons.edu to log in or set up your account. 

5. Use the Simmons Library Guides - The Library has created dozens of in-depth online resource guides by discipline, each with a "Careers" tab. They are maintained and updated by the Library Reference staff. There are also additional guides in the Careers section by topic - such as internships!

6. Check Out Linked In - First you need to set up your own profile on LinkedIn, the leading online networking tool for professionals Then explore the thousands of companies and contacts. Consider joining the Simmons LinkedIn group - over 2,700 members and growing!

7. Use Your Own Networks - Everyone has multiple networks of contacts. Get the word out by talking to friends, roommates, faculty, family - let them know what you are looking for. You never know who might be able to help open a door for you. 

8. Use the Simmons Alumnae Network - If you are targeted in your approach you might be able to identify a Simmons alum who could be of help to you. You can then approach them about a possible phone meeting or informational interview. Check out Simmons Alumnet or contact the Alumnae/i Relations office to learn more.

9. Use Boston Chamber Intern Connect - The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) has recently launched an online job board listing internships from their hundreds of member firms. Check out Boston Chamber Intern Connect here

10. Use the Internet Job Aggregators - The big national online boards like Indeed.com and SimplyHired can turn up hundreds of opportunities. Feed in the search criteria you want, such as "technology internships" and "Boston", and see how many returns you get - all with links to more detailed info on each.

11. Meet with Your Advisor - Always a good idea - they know your field and they know you! They will also be aware of opportunities and places where your department's students have interned before, as will your department's faculty internship coordinator. 

12. Meet with a CEC Career Coach - A CEC career coach can help you prepare all the materials you need for your search, such as resume, cover letter, elevator speech, etc. - all are key to a successful internship search. They can address any of the other aspects of the process as well, such as preparing for an interview.

So what are you waiting for? Now's the time to get going so you are all set for the spring - or beyond. Good luck! And have a Happy Thanksgiving.



Photo: Courtesy of SheKnows.com