Think all internship programs are made alike? Think again.
As a young professional, you probably realize the impact internships have on your future career. But you may not know you’ve got tons of options on your hands? Long gone are the days when programs were just about grabbing coffee and making photocopies. Today’s internships come in all shapes, sizes, as well as pay schemes. Plus, with 60 percent of all interns receiving full-time job offers upon internship completion, a great internship program can be the key to your future.
If you’re in the market for a new internship, check out these four choices you may have overlooked:
1. Nonprofit Opportunities
If you’re looking for an opportunity where you can work towards a cause or fight injustices, you may want to look into nonprofit internships. Since the nonprofit sector is always changing, interns may find themselves with varying tasks, such as community outreach, coordinating fundraising efforts, or researching trends. These internships can be the most rewarding: In fact, organizations like the Make-a-Wish Foundation and LIVESTRONG are commonly noted as some of the best organizations for which to work.
Keep this in mind, though: According to NACE, many nonprofits can’t afford to pay their interns since they “reflect the fiscal realities and limitations for organizations in that sector.” Luckily, there are still nonprofit organizations, such as ProPublica, that provide competitive compensation while offering fulfilling experiences.
How to nab the internship: Nonprofit internship employers want candidates who have the same drive and passion for a cause. In your application materials, call attention to your previous work, volunteering experience, as well as concrete reasons why your goals align with the organizations. Real evidence and relatable skills are going to increase your chances.
2. Technology Industry Internships
Did you know Facebook pays interns an average of $6,056 per month? What about Microsoft or LinkedIn, which pay interns about $5,936 and $5,808 per month, respectively? Welcome to tech industry internships, where goals are high and pay is abundant. While not every tech organization pays the way these behemoths do, the tech industry is not only booming, it’s also set to grow in the future. In fact, from 2010 to 2020, computer-related occupations are expected to grow 22 percent, compared to the projected growth of all other occupations.
How to nab the internship: Just like technology companies themselves, you need to be innovative and you must stand out. Think about sending over a video resume, creating a “hire me” campaign, or understanding how to answer tricky questions on the spot to display your critical thinking skills.
3. The Corporate Experience
When you think of a corporate internship, you may think of a stuffy atmosphere filled with busy executives and never-ending phone calls. But if you want a sneak peak into the operations and functions of some of the most successful organizations, consider looking at corporate programs. Plus, many are pretty generous in compensation: For instance, Procter & Gamble interns earn about $3,997 per month and GE offers about $2,874 per month. Other smaller firms recognize the need to compete and usually offer intern salaries within the same range.
How to nab the internship: While corporate internship programs typically pay more, they are harder to land. This is where tactics like networking play a role in your chances. After all, knowing someone who understands your value helps your odds.
4. Virtual Experience
Virtual internships are growing in popularity and demand: 59.3 percent of students are open to doing a virtual internship. Virtual internships can be found in companies of all sizes and in numerous industries. They work especially well for small businesses or startups that are gearing up growth. Plus, with resources like Skype, Google Hangouts, and email, staying in touch and receiving feedback is comparable to being in the same room as your supervisor.
How to nab the internship: Highlight things like open availability and high attention to detail. While these are important in any internship setting, virtual employers need to know you’re going to work harder since you aren’t in an office setting.
There you have it: four types of internships you may have overlooked. Check out these options to ensure you’re building your portfolio and gaining impactful experiences that will help you to grow as a professional.
What do you think? What are some internships you may have overlooked?