The best way to land a job after college, make some money, and find real world experience as a student is a college internship.
I never had an internship in college. I think that internships are the best thing to do in college.
Wait a minute…
Why didn’t I have an internship in college? Because traditionally at my school, the jobs sucked. All I heard were horror stories about being stuck in some job that offered no real value. Plus, I always did my own thing, between finding full-time work and working on random projects.
I do wish that I had a successful run as a college intern. Some programs forced you into work terms where you had to find a job and gain experience in order to continue in the program. I think that this is a brilliant idea. It’s also an excellent way to dent that student debt thing.
Since it’s about that time to start looking for a college internship as a student, I wanted to look at the idea of taking control of the situation.
How can you create your own college internship?
Apply for jobs on your own.
You don’t have to apply for a work term/jobs through your college. You can perform this whole process on your own. You can cut the middleman out and grab control of this situation.
How do you apply for jobs on your own? Below are ideas that I’ve heard positive reviews from:
- Look into local start-ups that are working on something cool.
- Ask a friend that worked a co-op term for a reference.
- Check out companies that you’re interested in to see if they need any help.
Create your own job.
You don’t have to work a “conventional” job. You can create your own job and see what it feels like to be in charge of everything.
I probably praise the gospel of starting an online business too much on here. I’ll give a different suggestion this time.
Find a local entrepreneur and ask them to tag along.
For example, my youngest brother is working a co-op term at a local barbershop. A friend became an electrician by working a summer term with a family friend who had their own business.
By working with a local entrepreneur you can get a feel for what it’s like to be out in the real world, trying to market your services to complete strangers.
It’s also important to point out the obvious: technology has changed. I once wrote about how my friend landed a dream job on Facebook just by posting a simple status update. Technology is your friend. You can use social media for more than just creeping hot chicks. You can create your own internship as an ambitious student. The girls and the fame will follow.
Work with a friend or relative.
Do you have a family friend or a relative with their own business? Maybe you can approach them about working together or being an assistant. If you’re like me and don’t have any entrepreneurial connections, then you can try the next option.
Ask a family friend or relative for a reference with their company. We all need a way in. All it takes is one person to vouch for you and put in a good word.
[Martin’s helpful hint: If someone puts in a good word for you, then you better deliver. Don’t embarrass yourself and someone that vouched for you.]
You can easily create your own work experience in college. You don’t have to rely on your college, some lazy co-ordinator, or some hiring manager that doesn’t care for you. I urge every student that reads this to create your own internship experience. Make that money and beef up your resume. It beats being clueless in your mid-20s.
What’s one of the best internships for college students that you’ve heard of? Have you heard about any horror stories from college interns?