Does working alongside politicians, celebrities or professionals entice you? Surprisingly, there are endless amounts of these kinds of opportunities for student internships in all fields and careers. They are just waiting to be discovered and pursued.
Although second semester is a mere two weeks completed, many students are already looking toward the summer and possible leads on internships. Now is the prime time to begin searching for positions and networking in order to secure summer internships that will provide numerous benefits to students in the future. Amy Hoag, the Career Center’s internship coordinator, said January and February are hot times to look into internship possibilities.
Internships are generally short-term work experiences in which students receive training and gain hands-on experience in a specific field or career area. They provide benefits from acquiring new skills to exploring aspects of certain careers of particular interest. In addition, internships serve as a means of developing mentors and career networks, along with being an opportunity to collect letters of reference for future employment or graduate school recommendations.
A recent survey conducted by the National Association of College and Employers found that, in today’s tight job market, college graduates who have held internship positions have better chances of getting job offers. In the survey participants responded that more than 54 percent of their new college hires had internship experience. Researchers also found that government and nonprofit employers often turn their own interns into permanent employees, with 42.2 percent hired for full-time positions. Thus, internships and experience give students an edge in competitive job markets like the present one.
There is a wealth of resources available at the University for students seeking internships. The Career Center is the obvious place to start. The University’s online recruiting system, FORUM, has over 1,500 postings for full-time and part-time internships. The system allows students to search by location, interest, major and industry.
“FORUM gives students the contact information and the ways to apply once an internship is located. It acts as a facilitator and resource manager by providing the necessary information to the students. It is a great place to start getting ideas,” Hoag said.
Another place to acquire information about internship opportunities is within the Career Center’s library resources. Books such as “The Internship Bible” and “Peterson’s Internship Guide” provide descriptions and contacts in many different fields, both within the United States and internationally.
Hoag said one benefit of having a University of Michigan education is that students are highly sought out and generally have success finding internships.
“In preparation for my interviews, I spent time with career advisors in the Office of Career Development at the Business School. I had them review my resum