Thursday, May 15, 2014

The One Skill Every Student Needs When Applying to Internships

Whether you are finishing up your internship search for this summer or beginning your search for the fall, there is one skill that every student needs to acquire when applying to internships:  investigation!  Yes, you need to become your very own private investigator.  As a student, your time is of the essence, so it is important to use it wisely. Apply, interview and accept only the internships that will be valuable to you!  Here is how you can do so:

  1. Make sure the employer is legitimate.  Search for a company website, make sure the contact person’s email address is a company address (not a private yahoo or gmail account), and don’t reply to anyone asking for private information like your bank account or social security number.

  2. Become clear on what the internship is about.  Read the internship description carefully and answer the following questions for yourself.  Is the employer stating what you will be doing and your key responsibilities?  Does the work sound meaningful?  Will you learn new skills?  Can you connect what you are learning at Hofstra to what you will be doing on site?  Will you be supervised and/or is there department in place that is already doing the work that will be required of you?

  3. Ask key questions at the interview, so you can effectively evaluate the offer.  Here are a few you can use:
    • Can you give me some examples of the type of work an intern will be doing, such as day-to-day activities and key assignments?
    • Will I be supervised?  How will my supervisor evaluate me?  Will I be meeting with my supervisor regularly?
    • Does this internship offer any training?  If so, what type of training?
    • What do you see as the key benefits of this internship?
    • What are the most important qualities you look for in an intern?
    • Could you give me an example of an intern whom you thought of as outstanding and what he/she did?
    • Are interns included in staff programs such as staff meetings, seminars, or training sessions? Do interns observe site visits, or meetings with clients?

If at any point you are unsure of whether to accept an internship offer, contact our office and speak with a career counselor.  We are here to help!

Deanna Rodin,
Associate Director

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.