How to Get an Internship that is Right for You

Internships can serve as invaluable stepping stones in starting your professional journey. They offer invaluable experience, networking opportunities, and a chance to explore different industries and roles without the commitment of a long-term job.

However, navigating the vast array of internship options available can be overwhelming. This article aims to provide clarity and guidance to help you land an internship that not only fits your career objectives but also aligns with your personal interests and strengths.

The benefits of internships

Before delving into the process of finding and choosing an internship, it’s essential to understand the experience they offer and how this can benefit your career. Internships provide real-world experience, allowing you to apply classroom and theoretical knowledge to a practical workplace.

Additionally, they enable you to expand your professional network, gain insights into various industries, and refine your skills. Internships often serve as a gateway to full-time employment, with many companies hiring interns to return as graduates if they  demonstrate potential and dedication.

How to choose an internship

Choosing the right internship begins with self-reflection and research. Here are the steps we’d recommend to help you navigate this process effectively:

Explore your options

Start by identifying your interests, strengths, and career goals. Consider the skills you want to develop and the type of work environment where you thrive. Research industries and roles that align with your passions and values.  Try not to limit yourself to familiar paths; be open to exploring new opportunities that may spark your interest. Picking the right internship can lead to you being put onto the correct career path for you.

Make your choice

Once you have a sense of your interests and goals, narrow down your focus to specific industries or sectors. Research trends, job market demand, and growth opportunities within each industry. Consider factors such as company culture, values, and potential for career advancement. By selecting an industry that resonates with you, you’ll be more motivated to pursue relevant internships and excel in your role.

Decide what you want from the experience

Clarify your objectives for the internship experience. Are you seeking to gain hands-on experience in a particular field? Do you want to develop specific technical skills or soft skills such as communication and leadership? Are you looking for mentorship opportunities or exposure to various aspects of business operations? Defining your goals will help you narrow down your search and tailor your application materials to highlight relevant experiences and qualifications.

Search for internships

Once you have a clear understanding of your preferences and objectives, it’s time to start actively searching for internships. Utilise online resources such as, job boards, company websites, professional networking platforms, as well as your university career services to help you identify opportunities. Customise your search criteria based on location, industry, role, and company size. It may helpto reach out to your network for referrals or support with the interview process . Casting a wide net will increase your chances of finding the right internship for you.

Internship Research Tips

Thorough research is essential to ensure that the internship aligns with your expectations and career aspirations. Here are some key factors to consider during your research process:

Company culture and values

Investigate the company’s mission, values, and workplace culture to determine if it aligns with your own. Look for clues in employee testimonials, social media presence, and company initiatives.

Job responsibilities and learning opportunities

Review the internship description carefully to understand the scope of responsibilities and learning objectives. Seek clarity on the type of work  you’ll be doing, the skills you’ll develop, and the support you’ll receive from mentors or supervisors.

Reputation and reviews

Look for feedback from current or former interns to gain insights into their experiences with the company. Online review platforms, such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn, can provide valuable information about company culture, management style, and growth opportunities.

Networking and connections

Reach out to current or former employees, alumni, or industry professionals who may have insights into the company or internship programme. Networking can provide valuable insider perspectives and potentially open doors to new opportunities.

Application process and timeline

Familiarise yourself with the application process, deadlines, and required materials for each internship opportunity. Be proactive in preparing your application materials, and most importantly your CV, as you will need to create a great first impression. ,

Securing the right internship requires a combination of self-awareness, research, and proactive networking. By exploring your options, defining your goals, and conducting thorough research, you can identify internship opportunities that align with your interests, skills, and career aspirations.

Remember to stay persistent, adaptable, and open-minded throughout the process, and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding internship experience that lays the foundation for future success in your chosen field.

If you’d like more advice on early careers, check out our Early Careers hub which offers guidance and advice on how to kick-start your career.

To find out more about careers at SEFE please visit our homepage.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of SEFE The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. SEFE accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.