There are several approaches that you can use to find and secure an internship. If you are a student or new graduate, you can start by attending career fairs. Here, you can interact with persons in your preferred industry and express your interest in a temporary position. Many employers use the fairs as a means to recruit interns that show promise as a good future permanent employee. You should sharpen your resume as well as a cover letter that outlines your skills, experience, interests and motivations. Carry a rolodex for the business cards you will receive at the meeting or a notebook to take down the contacts of the recruiters you speak to so you can follow up after the event.
You can also check internet job boards for openings for interns. Talk to family, friends, lecturers, college counsellors - indeed anyone willing to listen to you - regarding the type of internship you are looking for giving the weeks and months of the year that you are available.
Ask them for key contacts and work towards setting up a meeting up with these contacts. You may want to precede your phone call by an email or letter so you can give them time to prepare a response for you. Follow up your initial meeting with an email or phone call to check on any new openings.
Check the classifieds in your local dailies too. Get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce in your area. But probably the best approach is to start to knock doors and drop applications in the firms that you are interested in working for. Since internships are temporary positions which for the most part do not require a high level of skill, organisations would prefer not to incur the cost of advertising internships and instead choose from the applications they already have. In any case, approaching the company is a demonstration of interest and commitment, something that employers everywhere are always looking for in an employee.
Some organizations have a particular time of year during which they receive and process applications for internship jobs so make sure you prepare beforehand so that you do not miss that window of opportunity. Sometimes, the university's career services centre may have this information and can provide guidance on when your preferred organizations shortlist and hire their interns.
If there is opportunity for you to work in different departments within the organization, go for it. Broader level of experience will help add onto your overall knowledge of the industry so your final decision can be better informed.
But internship jobs are not just about being employed: you can start your own low capital business as part of your internship. Think of something that you can start up quickly and that meets a real need in the market. It could be as simple as selling ice cream or cookies. It could end up being so successful that you hire someone else to run with it when, as a student, you resume your classes. As a fresh graduate, this could be a great way to try out your entrepreneurial skills.
A jobs internship can be either paid or unpaid so make sure the terms are clear at the point of negotiation and engagement. But if you can only get an internship that does not pay, do not worry. The experience is often of greater value than the monetary compensation you would get as an intern. Another thing to check for, especially if you are still in college and are going for internship as part of the requirements for the degree program, is to confirm that the organisation is approved by your college as far as earning academic credits is concerned.