As you advance further in your college career the importance of having an internship on your resume increases. By junior and senior year, internships become almost a necessity.

Internships are usually offered by your school – lists will usually be handed out with names of the companies that are recruiting interns. However, there are numerous websites like ed2010.com and medisbistro.com that can be excellent outside resources when looking for internships. By doing your own outside research, you may find something better suited to you that will still allow you to receive the school credit you need.

Reaching out to professors as well can also be an excellent way to branch out and find the internship you need –  even if it means going outside of your comfort zone.

If your schedule allows for it or if you are not an upperclassman, internships are still an excellent option for becoming a more well-rounded student and adding experience to your resume. You may not be able to get school credit for your work, but the experience in of itself is equally valuable.

When you do finally find the internship that you want – be persistent. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be persistent and consistent when applying for an internship. Most of the time, the same people looking at your resume as a student are the same people who will be reviewing your resume as a graduate. If they see that you are a tenacious, employers are more likely to hire you after graduation. Hard work really does pay off and it starts with making sure people know your name.

You may think that because you are young a resume is not applicable to you. Think again. You have to have representation of the work you have accomplished. Everything from your summer job to your volunteer positions in both high school and college are acceptable and necessary on a college student’s resume. If you are not sure how to put a resume together, you can look it up online or go to the career center at your school. Whatever way you choose to go about it, make sure you have an excellent cover letter, resume, and recommendations.

Keep in mind, that you are still in college – you may feel like some things are beneath you, but most things are not. Be ready to do 95% of work pro bono. It is not an insult, it is a chance to grow your craft and become a more experienced person.

Above all, the most important thing you can do when breaking into the professional world is to make as many friends as possible. As a college student, networking is your best friend. Get business cards, create a LinkedIn profile, start a blog about your major or future career plans. If you want to, make a more professional Facebook and/or Twitter page for just your colleagues.

College keeps us in a mostly isolated safety bubble and a real-world internship is the first major step into the working world. Be excited for you future, but also be prepared – these are some of the most important days of your life.

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