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How to Find and Secure Internships

A student at a career fair talking to employers at a booth

One of the top reasons why individuals choose to go to college is to find better career opportunities and have job security. Not only can college help build a stable career and enable you to gain more knowledge, but having an internship during your schooling can also provide a meaningful learning experience. 

Gain Job Experience and Set Yourself Apart

Having a degree is simply not enough to land you that job after graduation. Employers are also looking for job experience, so it is best you try to find something now to help you out post-graduation. 

Doing an internship can also set you apart from other recent graduates. Not every student is going to have an internship. Being able to include an internship on your resume can show employers you have real-world experience. An internship shows you have not only the knowledge, but also the training, for a position. 

Apply What You’ve Learned 

As you take courses that are related to your desired career path, internships help apply your classroom learning in a professional setting. Having that valuable hands-on experience gives you the opportunity to put theory and concepts into practice and further develop your skills. You might also be able to learn something on the job that you did not learn in the classroom. 

Gain Networking Experience

Not only can you learn more about the job, but also meet new people and create a list of contacts to use as references on your resume. Employers will love to see you have experience working in a team setting because most jobs involve working with people. As you network and create work relationships, these colleagues can also come in handy for finding a job after graduation.

Internships may also help you discover that your chosen career and degree might not be the right choice. Something about the job could make you realize that it is not what you truly want to do. If that is the case, you can readjust and try to find other degrees and career options. Do not feel as though you have wasted your time and money. It is important to find what interests you and provides you with the greatest amount of satisfaction. 

Now that you understand how doing an internship during college is beneficial, how do you find these internships? There are a few resources you can use to help you discover internship opportunities. 

Handshake and Other Online Options

Handshake is an online recruitment platform that partners with employers and universities, including Idaho State University, to help college students find internships and jobs. Recruiters will often reach out to students with information on potential job opportunities related to their degree and major. All you need to do is sign up, build your profile and start connecting with employers. There is also a mobile app version available at the Apple App and Google Play Stores. 

There are other online resources that can be helpful, too. Doing simple searches such as ‘internships in [insert your location]’ or ‘internships near me’ in any search engine will bring up several results. Indeed.com is one resource commonly used by many who are seeking employment. LinkedIn is a great option because it is a business and employment-focused social media platform. You can network with current students and alumni on the Idaho State College of Business’ LinkedIn

Career Fairs

There are a variety of career fairs held throughout the Fall and Spring semesters at Idaho State University. The purpose of career fairs is to bring in businesses to meet with students. Students are encouraged to network, explore job opportunities and maybe even set up an interview. Idaho State’s College of Business also holds a business career fair in conjunction with the Career Center that is catered towards business majors. You can view a list of all the career fairs that the Career Center runs on their page. Learn how to prepare for a career fair here

Networking and Word of Mouth

As a student, it is extremely important to network and build relationships to use to your advantage post-graduation. One of the best ways to get a job in a company is to know someone who works there. This person might be able to help land you a job and serve as a reference. 

Having an internship during college is beneficial in many ways. It helps you gain job experience, applies your classroom learning into practice and provides a great networking opportunity. To find these internships you can explore online resources, visit career fairs and focus on networking or word of mouth. Explore your options, create or update your resume and secure yourself an internship!