Searching for An Internship? Here’s How

“Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to the student’s major or career goal. The internship plan generally involves students working in professional settings under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and the student may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship” 

 – National Association of Colleges and Employers 

You might have heard that finding an internship is the key to finding a career that you love at graduation. Although, it is not the only way, statistics show that it is a good way to land a job after graduation with a higher rate of pay than your peers who do not engage in this experience. Gator undergrads who participated in at least one internship during their time at UF reported a 15% increase in their starting salary. Did I pique your interest yet?  

If you have reached this far, I am going to assume that you are interested in finding an internship. Below you will find 3 tips to get you on your way: 

  1. Start looking Early 

Typically, employers start searching for Summer internships in the Fall of the previous year. That is a whole 8-9 months ahead of your intended start date. So, think about which semester you want to intern in and count backwards to get a ballpark timeframe of when you should start your search. However, if you don’t want to do the math, the gist is that you want to make sure that you start your search as early as possible. Consider attending Career Fairs and employer hosted events at least a year before you want to land a role.  

      2   Get involved in student organizations 

You are trying to get an internship, right? So why am I encouraging you to join a student org. Well other than the fact that any experiential learning opportunity provides you with valuable skills that you can market to an employer. The 2021 NACE Internship report says that having a leadership position gives you a competitive edge when you go up against another candidate that is equally qualified as you. So go ahead and explore Gator Connect. UF has over 1000 student organizations that you can explore. Take into account what you are interested in, what you value and your available time to dedicate to the experience and find one or two organizations to become active in.  

      3   Build your Connections both on, off and beyond campus 

Building relationships with others is a big part of your UF experience. Your Gator Nation Family will prove an invaluable resource as you explore careers and search for opportunities. Don’t hesitate to tap your upper classmen to make connections with industry. Besides, they might be in an internship right now and can provide you with a referral. Just make sure that you make good on it and be the best intern you can be. No need to burn bridges. 

Then consider, broadening your professional connections with alumni by attending events that feature Gator Career Consultants. Gator Career Consultants are alumni and friends of the Gator Nation who are invested in your career education as a Gator. Sample event titles at the C3 you would want to look out for are ‘Gator Career Chats’ and ‘Alumni Perspectives’.  

Lastly, you will want to share with others what you are looking for in an internship. Talk to your faculty, advisors, friends, and family. No sense in you looking on your own. Have your tribe help you in your search. You can also upload your resume in Gator Career Link, any employer that comes to a career fair can get a resume book for free to find individuals that match their positions. So let this powerful tool do some of the lifting as well.  

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