Internships, externships and career shadowing are great experiences for learning, vetting out what career possibilities make sense to you, and establishing links for future employment. But I get asked, “What is the difference between internship, externship, and job shadow?” Typically, externships are much shorter and unpaid. They can be a couple of days to a few weeks in length and are primarily job shadowing experiences. The extern is an observer. A job shadow is typically a one day event and again, the individual is an observer. However, an internship is usually at least a semester in length and may or may not be a paid position. The intern is assigned duties that mirror what an employee in the position would be expected to do on a regular basis.
So how do you go about finding these great opportunities? Here are 5 Tips for locating or creating an internship, externship or career shadow experience:
#1 – Employers of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any extended family member. Activate your network! Remember, it may mean you create the experience on paper and present the proposal.
#2 – Family friends and their businesses
#3 – Businesses you frequent and like their product or service
#4 – City or County government offices
#5 – Quintcareers is a great website with links to tons of opportunities, job skill and interview recommendations as well as a zip code activated link for locating internship opportunities in your desired hometown or college town. Internmatch is another as is Summerinternships.com
Got a great internship story? Comment here and generate ideas for others. Or, if your company hires Interns or promotes shadowing experiences, please share those as well. It’s all about networking!