Avoiding Questionable Internships
Unfortunately, there are scams to watch out for as you search for internships. Anything that seems questionable is usually one you will want to avoid applying for. Some things to avoid when looking for internships include:
- If the internship location is in a bad neighborhood or in a person’s home.
- If the employer asks you to pay a fee or send money in order to apply.
- If an employer doesn’t ask you to complete an application or submit a resume.
- If the employer asks you for any personal information not included on a standard resume.
- If you’ve never heard of the company and can’t find any information on-line on an official company website.
- If you get a bad vibe when it comes to the internship listing, the requirements, or the people it is usually a good idea to forfeit the opportunity and begin looking for another.
How to Learn More About a Company You’ve Never Heard Of
Legitimate companies put their information out there and don’t require money to learn more about their internship program before you even know what the company is about. You can also ask the company to provide you with a list of references, including people they’ve done business with who can provide a basic foundation for identifying if an employer is legitimate or not. A quick search on-line can usually lead to finding an official company website and you can also look for on-line reviews of a company on websites such as Google and Yelp.
Now that you are prepared to search for real internship opportunities, what are some tips to acquiring that dream internship jobs?
#1 – Plan Ahead:
Start looking in February for a Summer internship, August for Fall internships, and October for a Spring semester internship. Allow ample time to have to send out multiple applications and complete several rounds of interviews, if necessary.
#2 – Attend Career/Internship Fairs:
Career and internship fairs offer job seekers a chance to make a lasting impression on employers by interacting with them personally—it is impossible to make this type of connection when submitting a resume on-line. In addition, meeting a job recruiter for a company in-person could potentially make up for what your resume lack as you may can show your personality and professionalism. Career fairs allow you to dress, talk, and present yourself in a memorable way – after all, this could ultimately allow you to get your foot in the door with a company that interests you.
#3 – Network:
Take advantage of opportunities to build relationships with prospective employers. Swapping business cards and following-up with an employer after a career fair allows you to demonstrate your interest in their company, while also helping you stand out above other job seekers. Finally, speak with families, friends, faculty, academic advisors, and career counselors in the Student Academic Career Services Office about what type of internship interest you.
Now you’re ready to apply, don’t wait till last minute!
By: Severine Tamekloe