If you’ve spent any amount of time searching for internship or volunteer positions, you’ve probably realized that the opportunities available are practically limitless. For some, the countless number of potential internship opportunities is exciting and full of possibility! For others, the sheer volume can feel daunting or overwhelming.
Whether considering different internship or volunteer programs excites you or overwhelms you, at some point in the process, every person needs to answer the important question, “Which internship is right for me?”
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to volunteer or internship positions. The best fit scenario for one person is likely to be very different than the ideal position for another.
As you consider different internship or volunteer opportunities, here are 6 ways to know which internship is a good fit for you!
- It aligns with your career goals.
Internships and volunteer positions are excellent resume builders. Potential employers prefer candidates that have some sort of valuable work experience to offer. When choosing the right internship for you, it’s important to consider your career goals and how this position aligns with your future plans.
2. It sparks your passion.
As you consider different internship positions, picture yourself doing the work. How does it make you feel? Does it excite you? Are you interested in the work you’d be doing? A great internship or volunteer position is one you look forward to! If picturing yourself in this position sounds boring, you should look into some different options.
3. It opens doors for possible career advancement.
Internships often lead to more permanent job placements. Many individuals are able to secure positions within the same companies and organizations they’ve interned with. Others use the valuable network connections they’ve acquired through their volunteer or internship programs to get other jobs. As you consider which internship to take, look into options for career advancement. Are there further opportunities for permanent work within this organization? Will the position provide you with contacts that could serve as professional references for job applications?
4. It provides real responsibilities.
Great internships will give you the opportunity to learn and practice new skills. This means you should be doing more than making coffee. In researching internship programs, read the full job description for the positions you are applying for. Choose programs that will allow you to try new things and develop your field related skills.
5. It fits in your schedule.
The time requirements vary for every volunteer or internship position. Some only require a two-week commitment, others may last for a semester or entire year. Choose an internship that works for your schedule. If you have the ability to devote an entire year or semester to an internship, do it! That experience will be invaluable. However, not everyone has that kind of flexibility. If you need a shorter program, look for ones that fit within a summer break.
6. It works within your budget.
Internships vary a lot in terms of cost and compensations. Some internships offer a salary or stipend to their program participants. Others may require you to pay your own travel expenses. Make sure you choose an internship that aligns with your monetary needs. If you can’t afford to work for free, look for an internship that offers a salary.
There are countless internship and volunteer opportunities in every industry. Finding the right fit for you is important for your overall satisfaction with your experience and in the best interest of the program you work with. As you consider your different options, use the 6 factors listed above to guide you in finding your ideal internship or volunteer program!