Getting Ready for an Internship
There are a lot of steps that must occur between the point of deciding to seek out an internship opportunity and actually starting one. Luckily, we want to help you get started!
Previously we outlined what the timeline of beginning your internship journey might look like and the four components to making it happen. The first step is just getting started.
This is your time to cross your t’s and dot your I’s. Here are some things to prepare and consider as you’re getting ready to start your search.
Set Your Goals & Organize Your Thoughts
As you’re just diving into the process of preparing for and seeking an internship, this is the perfect time to get organized in your thinking and goals. Your first step will always be to determine which kind of internship you’d like to pursue, and in what aspect of your field. The thing I love most about internships is your ability to test drive your career. If there’s an area that you’re particularly curious about, start there! Going into this process with clear direction can help you better tailor your resume and target companies or opportunities.
Consider Your Options
Once you know where you’re headed, this is a great opportunity to consider your needs for your experience.
- Is this opportunity required within your academic program?
- Can you accept an unpaid internship?
- Is your career field cross-sector, and if so, what industry can help you best achieve your goals?
All great things to consider going into your search.
Update Your Resume
Knowing your target industries and roles can allow you ample opportunity to tailor your resume (and cover letters!) to the specific needs and wants of the opportunities you will be pursuing. There is something to be said for also tailoring your resume to match keywords from the job description. This is a great time to add new experiences, remove irrelevant information or make a resume in general.
Get Academic Credit Squared Away
If you’re pursuing academic credit for your internship – whether it is paid or unpaid – the burden is placed on you as the student to ensure that everything is taken care of. This means that you will need to be the liaison between your institution and your future employer. Use the time you have now to get prepared for this process. Understand what is required for credit to be earned by talking to your professor or advisor, be sure you have any necessary paperwork ready. Also be sure to communicate this back to your employer, as well.
Review Your Resources
Take advantage of all that your institution, community, and even online sites have to offer! Sharpen your skills through mock interviews or career coaching, review tips and tricks for resumes, prepare your elevator pitch, and research common questions for the roles you’re applying for. Be sure to also know what local and regional job search sites are available to you. In Wichita Falls, you’ll have access to:
- Wichita Falls Chamber Job Board
- Texas Internship Challenge
- WorkInTexas Job Board
- MSU Students: MustangsHIRE aka Handshake
- Vernon College Students: Career Coach
Bearing all of this in mind, you’re ready to get this process started. We’d wish you a ton of luck, but with preparation like this, you won’t need it!
Did you know that the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership and Wichita Falls Chamber are working diligently with local employers and education providers to advocate for more internship opportunities for our home-grown students? Finding a quality local internship just got a little bit easier with Intern Wichita Falls! Stick with us so we can help you! Learn more at www.wichitafallschamber.com/internshipswichitafalls/.