Is your teen looking to apply for a summer internship as part of his course and does not know how or where to get started? We are here to help you and your child with some tips.
By Rohan George Philip
As summer starts, college students across the country go into a frenzy over where to apply for internships. These short work stints have become an indispensable part of any job applicant’s CV in the recent years. A good internship with a reputed company or an institution vastly improves the career prospects of a student and may also result in a secure job in the company he interned with.
An intern may have to do several things like content writing or marketing or taking part in the day-to-day workings of a firm. The experience gained through these internships is invaluable for your child’s career. Here are some tips on when, how and where to apply for summer internships:
Your child should start applying for internships ideally by the end of December or the beginning of January. Internships usually start by April and end by June, so starting early will give her a good head start. However, don’t worry if she hasn’t started yet, as there is still time for her to get her dream internship.
Students in their first year of college are not usually favoured by several firms for technical internships as most universities spend the first year teaching basic concepts to their students. So, if your teen is in his first year, look for less technical internships in fields like content writing, marketing or social work.
If your child is in her second or third year, she will have to start looking for more technical internships that are suited to her particular field of study. These internships will go a long way in bettering her prospects while applying for jobs or higher studies in the future.
Several firms, who look for interns are start-ups or smaller companies. Your child will benefit the most from these companies during his internship. These firms require extra help and are willing to train interns to be qualified to do the job. Internship fairs in colleges or online portals with listings of available internships are great avenues for applicants to get in touch with these firms.
Internships in larger companies may be hard to come by, as these companies tend to groom their interns over a longer period of time, with the aim of providing employment within the organisation, in the near future. That being said, these companies do accept interns on a short term basis from time to time.
Another lesser known avenue for internships is with research teams in universities. By January, you can see advertisements in newspapers or in your child’s university about several prestigious universities, such as the IITs, the NITs and even universities outside India offering research opportunities to students during summer. While these may not qualify as conventional internships, they are extremely beneficial to her CV and could put her in touch with several key people in her field of study.
A well-constructed and crisp resume is a very important tool and is essential while applying for internships. An ideal resume should have the following fields:
Other additions can be made to this list as per the requirements. Ensure that your child’s resume is circulated as widely as possible as you can never be sure from where an opportunity will arise.
A very common mistake that students make while applying for internships is applying for the wrong internship at the wrong time. If a freshman applies only for technical internships or internships requiring experience in the field, chances are that he is going to be disappointed. So, make sure your child applies for internships based on his experience. Applying too late also reduces his chances of landing his dream internship.
One of the first things your child should know about internships is that her evaluation begins as soon as she sends in her CV. The prospective employers will scrutinise the language used in the CV and the way it is presented, apart from its actual content. At the time of the interview, she will also be evaluated on the way she carries herself, how she dresses, how she talks to her superiors and how punctual she is, amongst other things. So, ensure that she is suitably dressed and is polite and respectful while communicating with her superiors during the interview, and even after she is selected.
A vast majority of the internships that will be presented to your child will be unpaid, especially those offered by start-ups and smaller firms. Paid internships are usually offered to students who are ready to intern for several months. Tell him not to be disheartened by the lack of compensation, as the purpose of these internships is to help him gain hands-on experience in his field, which will help him when he applies for paid jobs in future.
It is extremely important to keep an open mind while applying for internships. Your child need not only apply for internships in the field of study that she is currently pursuing in college. For example, a student who is doing her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), can do her internship in the field of computer science. The knowledge gained over the course of her internship can be applied to her field of study as well. Similarly, students from commerce backgrounds can do internships in the fields of Human Resources or Business, and students from any field can take part in content writing or marketing internships.
Several internships offered online are work-from-home internships. These allow your child to work from the comfort of his own home while pursuing his studies. While the more advanced or technical internships usually require the intern to be present in office, work-from-home opportunities are a good way to integrate him into the world of internships.
India has almost 27.3 million students enrolled in undergraduate studies. Your child needs to set herself apart from the crowd to have access to a bright future. And, internships provide an excellent avenue to do just that. So, get your child to prepare and apply for internships and make this summer break count.
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