How Do I Choose the Best College Student Internships?

Tara Barnett

College student internships are available in many different fields and may be a great step toward an interesting career in a particular industry. Ideally, you will aim to get a paid internship that is highly prestigious, but you must often choose between taking an internship you enjoy and getting paid. Choosing the best college student internships involves thinking about the areas in which you are qualified for an internship, applying for internships in those areas, and then choosing the best one offered to you. The process may be slightly different in different fields and industries, but most of the time internship application processes are much like job application processes.

College student internships are available in many different fields and may be a great step toward an interesting career in a particular industry.
College student internships are available in many different fields and may be a great step toward an interesting career in a particular industry.

Most college students have access to a career services department through the university in which they are enrolled. This department can be a great resource for finding internships with which other student have had success. Career services departments are often able to suggest internships that may not be advertised broadly and may even know of internships on campus that will help build strong connections with staff. One of the main benefits of working with a career services department to find the best college student internships is that people working in this department often have experience with students working toward degrees in different majors offered by the college and can help suggest internships valuable to those particular programs.

When looking for college student internships independently, one great way to find acceptable programs is to search for internships like you would search for jobs. This means not only searching broadly for college student internships in a particular area, but also investigating companies that may not have listed internships but might still be interested in your services. Being bold is often a great way to find unique opportunities. Even so, it is important to be polite when looking for college student internships in order to make sure that you do not burn bridges you might use later on.

Choosing the best college student internships is largely a matter of personal preference, but one aspect that must be considered is whether the internship is paid. Some of the best internships in the arts and journalism are actually unpaid, but this can be very difficult for an individual to manage full time. If the program is a valuable investment in future success, an unpaid internship may be a good option. Even so, it is usually desirable to get paid for work, and you may need to take a more fairly compensated internship in order to have enough money to make it through the summer.

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