Internships are a hot topic for college students, because they are extremely important for your career and can help you get your foot in the door to the professional world. There’s no doubt that having an internship is a wonderful opportunity, but if all of your friends are talking about their internships when you haven’t had one yet, it can be easy to feel left out and possibly even behind, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
You have time.
Maybe you’ve already begun applying for internships or maybe you haven’t even thought about them yet. Whichever situation you find yourself in, you still have time. As a freshman or sophomore in college, you should focus on fully exploring your options. Think about the different industries and positions that interest you and consider applying to as many as possible. This will give you the best chance of landing a great internship and also help you figure out what you want (and don’t want) to do.
You can take on an unpaid internship.
Even if your ideal internship isn’t a possibility yet, there are definitely other ways to build your resume and your skill set. If you’d like to get as much experience as possible as an underclassman, consider taking on an unpaid internship. Startups and nonprofits are the perfect places to start because many offer these types of internships and having that unpaid internship under your belt will help you land a paid position later on in your college career.
You can join other clubs and organizations to boost your resume.
Internships aren’t the only types of experience that look good on a resume. To turn yourself into a well-rounded candidate, join clubs and organizations on campus or volunteer at a local nonprofit. Having a part-time job is also a great resume booster for freshmen and sophomores, because it shows your work ethic and your ability to balance the responsibility with your schoolwork, social life and other obligations. No matter what you’re involved in, your dedication to your future will be evident in your resume, in your application and in a potential interview, so no experience will go to waste.
It’s only natural to worry when you feel like you’re the only one who hasn’t had an internship, but there are many other students in your shoes. If you keep adding experiences to your resume and applying for positions, the time will come for you to be the one talking about your internship to your friends and family. Just remember not to stress too much, because the fact that you’re already thinking about it is a big step in the right direction.