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College Success

Not All Internships Are Created Equal: How to Find the Right One for You

While the stereotypical college intern isn’t grabbing coffee and filing papers anymore, you still want to be aware of what you’re signing up for when you accept an internship. Here are some tips to make sure you choose the right undergrad internship for you.

Read the fine print.

Read through the job description carefully. Does it sound like you will be doing real work? Is it paid or unpaid? Expect that you will have some menial tasks, but if that’s all you would be doing, don’t be afraid to pass.

Don’t apply to jobs just because you like the title, make sure you like the work too.

Ask the right questions.

In the internship interview, be sure to ask about the team’s culture:

  • What is the dress code?
  • What do interns do if they get free time?
  • Will you be trained?
  • Are there any activities outside of work?
  • How many hours will you be working?

Think about your long-term career.

Where do you want to be in five years? Will this job help you get there? Sometimes you will have to choose between a name brand firm with a less important job and a lesser known firm with a more important job.

If you are in a situation to decide between more than one opportunity, sit down with your advisor and talk through how this job could help you down the road.

Use your school’s career services, LinkedIn, the Forté Job Center, and good ol’ Google to find potential jobs. Use career fairs to network and don’t be afraid to reach out to your parent’s friends or your neighbors!

Good luck!

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