University Times

Internships 101

Your guide to finding the perfect internship this summer.

Richard Molina, News Editor

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Summer vacation is upon us! While the time of homework, pop quizzes and presentations is over for now, the abundance of free time opens opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the career field of your dreams! Organizations all across Los Angeles are looking for eager college students to intern and develop skills necessary to succeeding in their field of interest.

Internships will be necessary if you hope to be a future leader in your field. So before you go signing up to the first opportunity that comes across your path, make sure you’ve done your research to get the most out of your potential internship. Here a few suggestions to get you started on the right path:

First, be sure you know what you’re getting into. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) uses the following definition: “An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.” Make sure the work you do during the internship will be relevant to your future career.

The next thing you’re going to want to keep in mind is compensation. Aside from providing the wonderful opportunity of experience in the field of your dreams, some internships even offer a salary! If money is going to be tight this summer, you might want to find an internship that pays. Some programs even offer academic credits towards your university program.

When you’re ready to start applying to programs, be sure you have your credentials prepared. This should include a resume, containing a clearly stated objective, both your academic and work history and a short list of reference contacts. Web-based work profiles are a great way to find internships and network through various fields. LinkedIn is such a platform, and popularly used on both the app and website.

As for the seeking-out portion of obtaining an internship, there are various ways to do so. Cal State LA will post internships directly connected to the University on CareerLink. Websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed and many others are full of internships. Just be sure to investigate programs thoroughly before committing.

Finally, the most important thing to do during an internship is to enjoy yourself and keep an open mind. Internships are supposed to be a stepping stone toward your future career, so make sure the work you do is fulfilling and rewarding.

For more information,
visit the Career Development Center or check out their online “Guide for Internships” at: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/cdc/guide-internships.

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