When you are in college, a common piece of advice is “you need to get an internship.” It’s simple and good advice. Having an internship experience while you are in school will give you a taste of what it could be like to work in that field. However, actually getting an internship can be a little more challenging.
Summer internships are popular because most students don’t have classes, ample positions are available, and it’s a good time to gain experience. But don’t limit yourself to just looking at summer internships. Look at school year (fall and/or spring) internships too!
A couple reasons why try a school year internship:
Plenty of opportunities:
Yes, there are a ton of opportunities for internships during the school year. Many students are told to get internships somewhere from when they are juniors to seniors. But only looking at summer really limits the amount of time to gain experience.
If you take on a school year internship, you have more opportunities to get experience and there might be less people applying so the application process could a little less stressful. A school year internship could turn into a summer position or even a full-time job at the end. You can also try a different internship that summer if you don’t love your current school year one.
For many companies, the summer season could be a slower time of the year. So, getting in during the school year, can offer you for opportunities to see the company “in action” and the experience you receive and responsibilities you are given could be very different than in the summer.
With a school year internship, you are balancing school, work, and a social life. While that can be challenging at first, can be a rewarding way to learn better time management. You might be thinking: “How can that be rewarding, it sounds stressful?!?” Well, if an employer can see that you’re able to balance and manage your time and handle stress, it’s a good sign you’re capable of a full-time position too.
This is totally achievable. I’ve worked an average of 30 hours a week (not including weekends) between two jobs during the school year since I started as a full-time student (15-18 credits). On top of that I was a part of club sport and worked out five days a week for 1.5 hours and still able to hang out with friends and have a social life. You really learn how to prioritize your time and figure out ways to relieve any stress and stay in balance.
Now, I’m not saying that you should completely give up on summer internships and only look at school year programs. Look for summer internships, but don’t narrow your view and thinking that you can only do this in the summer. Open your possibilities to include all and any opportunities you can get your hands on.