Internships provide opportunities to not only learn practical skills, but also offer chances to examine a work culture and the different styles that come along with it: how to work in a team or alone, how to dress, or how to work under deadline pressure. A recent study discovered that a quarter of the new hires by prestigious Fortune 500 companies had participated in an internship program while a student. The reward for caring enough about their future careers to spend the time and effort required by an internship was a full-time job after graduation.
So, research and educating yourself is key when obtaining an internship. Ask yourself what you would like to personally gain from the experience and what company would best suit you. Many opportunities can be found in the reference section of most school and public libraries, and although it is not always the best approach, you can call companies directly and inquire about whether or not they offer internship programs. If you are uncertain about what approach best suits you, feel free to contact an undergraduate advisor.
When you are ready to apply for internship positions, be sure to do so well in advance since deadlines can be early. Getting a head start will not only give you enough time to get organized, but it could also give you a leg up when trying to secure a competitive internship.
Where to get started
- ICC helps forge connections between the university and the workplace. No matter what your field of study, you can benefit from personalized career counseling and from internships that will expose you to new working environments and help develop your employment skills.
- ENTRY POINT! is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offering Outstanding Internship Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, and some fields of Business.
- Each year, the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) invites about 10 highly qualified undergraduate students from UC Davis, Cornell, MIT, Stanford and UC Berkeley to join their community for the summer months. PARC, a subsidiary of the Xerox Corporation, is a leader in conducting research and developing much of what we think of as central to modern personal computing.