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Get an early start on career exploration by trying out an internship. Internships provide a great way to get some "real world" experience in a field that interests you. This type of on-the-job training gives you a small taste of what you may face day to day should you pursue full-time work.

An internship is a great learning opportunity. You're primarily there to develop your skills, and the goal is for you to walk away with more knowledge than you started with.

In addition, an internship will look terrific on your college application or your resume. The more experience and dedication that you demonstrate, the more attractive a candidate you are. An internship is a great way to network and get references, too.

The Nitty Gritty

Internships may:

  • Be paid or unpaid
  • Offer academic credits (You'll need to work this out with your school.)
  • Be flexible in length, although they usually last for a school term (quarter or semester)
  • Be local or international (possibly with a living stipend)
  • Include close supervision and guidance
  • Be a one-time experience or something you do on a repeated basis

How to Apply

Internships can be competitive, and applying for an internship is a lot like applying for job… you may need to write a cover letter, provide a resume and/or transcripts, and include letters of recommendation.

Companies interested in you may invite you for an interview, so do some research and learn about the business. And be prepared to talk about your strengths.

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