Internships are the most comprehensive and prestigious form of experiential learning. An internship allows you to explore a career at a depth similar to an entry-level position. Interns are often given partial or full responsibility for a project while still being supervised. Most former students say that internships, more than anything else, helped them make career decisions.
Internships are increasingly popular: 87 percent of students complete one internship before graduation, and 69 percent complete two or more. An internship is often the best way to break into a competitive field such as advertising. Interns also gain professional contacts and inside knowledge to help their postgraduate career search.
Some students dismiss internships because they are often unpaid. But keep in mind that many internships do offer pay or other benefits. Even if you can't find a suitable, paid internship, financing an unpaid internship—for example, with a part-time job—may be well worth it in the long run.
Many internships are offered just for a summer; others last a semester or longer. You may be able to receive credit for an internship. Check with your academic department. If your department doesn't offer credit, consider enrolling in Q398.
To find an internship, start with myIUcareers. Then talk to your family, friends, and professors and see if they have any leads. The Career Development Center offers up-to-date listings for thousands of internships online through the Web Link Library. You can also simply call specific organizations and ask whether they offer internships.
To maximize your chance of getting an internship, apply far in advance to every position that seems interesting. Follow each organization's application instructions meticulously, target your resume to each position individually, and make sure your cover letter has perfect grammar, spelling, and formatting.