Summer-like weather has hit the Boston area this week, with temperatures touching 70 degrees in some locations. Many students are probably eager to dig their sunglasses and shorts out of the closet and enjoy the pleasant weather. With summer already in mind, it’s a perfect time for students to start thinking about internship opportunities.
Although in reality, summer is a few months away, it’s certainly not too early to line up an internship. Being proactive when looking for an internship helps you gain a competitive advantage over others who may also be interested in the position. Having said that, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a summer internship.
What will you be doing at this internship? With whom will you be working? These are questions to ask on your initial interview or phone conversation with the employer. Receiving realistic expectations up front about your potential day-to-day tasks can help you decide whether the position would be a good fit. Also, consider whether the internship is an area of healthcare in which you could see yourself working in long-term.
Paid or Unpaid?
While a large number of internships are unpaid, there are paid internships out there if you look hard enough. Alternatively, some internships will pay you a stipend at the conclusion of the position. Other positions will award you school credit (if applicable) in exchange for your time.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether or not you absolutely need to be paid for your time, or whether the experience and connections you will gain is sufficient.
Where the company is located in relation to where you live is also something to consider. This is especially important if you decide on an unpaid internship – how much will it cost for you to commute daily? In almost every case, you will need to travel at least a couple of miles from your home. However, you should be sure that you also have means of getting to your internship, whether it be car or public transportation.
Work Environment and Culture
What is it like to work at the company? It is a small, medium or large company? Again, these are questions to ask on your initial interaction with the potential employer. By asking such questions, you will get an idea of what it’s like to work at the company, and also convey to the potential employer that you are expressing interest in the position.
These factors are a great starting point for helping land the ideal summer internship. Remember – be proactive and apply for any positions that interest you. It’s better to apply to several positions then to bank on the one that you really want the most. In any case, gather as much information about the internship as possible in order to make an educated decision.