5 Tips for Locating or Creating Internships and Externships

Internships and externships 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 and externship?”  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.  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 or externship:

#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.

Got a great internship story?  Comment here and generate ideas for others.

Get Started on Your Summer Plan

When I talk with people about their plans for their future, I get the range of reactions from “deer in the headlights” to totally engaged and “I know where I want to go.”  But it is no surprise.  We are all wired with different “Time Frame Orientations,” as identified through the Highlands Ability Battery. Some people are naturally better at completion of tasks within a 6 month time frame while others are naturally better with longer time frames of a year to five years.  Either way, for college and high school students who are thinking about summer employment or participation with organizations, the clock is ticking and it is time for a plan.  You know I am all about “The Plan.”

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will focus on high school and college students and the considerations, time frames and helpful hints for summer employment/opportunities.  With a job market as tight as currently exists, you need to have a plan and be ahead of the competition.  Today, we start mapping the plan.

Whether your summer begins May 1st, June 1st or June 20th given extended calendars for weather make-up days, the landslide of summer workers/participants will hit in full force.  You need to be prepared to submit applications and do interviews before everyone else.  So work backwards.  Identify your target date for starting work and work backward with your plan.  You will need time for interviews, phone calls, application completion, Internet or local searches and networking.  That means you start now!

There are some terrific web tools for identifying summer employers as well as tips for effective interviews.  Here are just a few:

www.quintcareers.com                Great for searching College Internship Opportunities

www.getthatgig.com                     Opportunities for students 16-21 years

www.teenjobsection.com          Interactive map of opportunities across the country

www.snagajob.com                       Getting and making the most of your job

The important thing about starting now is you begin looking at the opportunities.  And opportunities do not apply only to work.  Opportunities may refer to athletic team participation,  experiences or internships.  What would you like to do?  Are there jobs/opportunities you are particularly interested in doing and things you just would not consider?  What transportation barriers exist or what options are available if a good opportunity presents itself?  How many hours a day will you be available to work/play/volunteer?  Is summer class part of the equation when figuring schedules for work?  Different employers will embrace your availability as a summer worker and as a student working to get ahead.  Others may find value in your performance and embrace the opportunity that you may be available for the next few seasons.  The here and now impacts tomorrow!

By starting your search now, you have some time to explore options and activate a network.  Yes, activate your network!  Just like business people network to expand and strengthen their own client base, students can network to find great summer opportunities through parents, relatives and family friends.  Now is the time to get started!   Define the plan!