What's Hot
What's Going On


Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.


OW on Twitter
OW on Facebook
Print Email

College Guide 2014

Interns R Us

How to land an internship that won’t make you resent being somebody else’s free labor

Photo: , License: N/A

Performing free labor is an unavoidable milestone in your college career. Whether you volunteer on a weekend for a nonprofit or spend a summer interning at a law firm, doing stuff without compensation is something you’re going to have to come to terms with. Though most internships are unpaid (lucky you if you’ve managed to land one of those coveted paid internship positions), you do usually gain from the experience – an internship can help you determine a major, inspire a career choice or develop professional networks. Most importantly, internships give you a taste of the real world, so you don’t experience too much culture shock, or a quarter-life crisis, after graduation.

Finding an internship you’ll really love not only requires a great résumé, but also some elbow grease, persistence and a strategy. Follow these steps to nab your ideal internship and get one step closer to the career of your dreams.

Find something you enjoy doing If you’re going to work for free, you might as well enjoy it. There’s a company, nonprofit or city agency for just about every conceivable interest, so think about what you really want to do and pursue internships in that category. Love animals? Look at volunteer opportunities at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (2800 County Home Road, Sanford, petallianceorlando.org). Want to learn about working in media? You can apply to this very publication (orlandoweekly.com) for an internship for college credit. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something you want to pour your heart into. Because once you commit to the internship, you’ll be expected to treat it like a real job.

Think about goals What is your motivation for finding an internship? Is it to explore a new field, learn on-the-job skills or just to fluff your résumé? Identifying your objective will narrow down your internship search.

Take advantage of your personal network Ask professors, club advisers and coaches for help. Check with family and friends; they may know someone within your field of interest.

Research your companies Spending half an hour on a company’s website is not research. If you want to land the internship you’re pursuing, you need to know more than just the company’s mission statement. What are its products? Does the company have a presence on the stock market? What kinds of people work there? What are their backgrounds? What can you bring to the table to make you an appealing candidate?

Apply and follow up Make sure your résumé and cover letter are accurate and relevant. Recruiters appreciate applicants who respond quickly and efficiently (if they email you, email them back; if they contact you by phone, respond by phone).

Prepare for an interview If you land an interview, be ready to tell the recruiter why you want this particular internship, and be ready to tell them why you chose to apply to their company. Be sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and dress appropriately. After the interview, send a thank-you email or handwritten note to the recruiter. If you’re hired, congratulations. If not, don’t be discouraged – and don’t be shy about asking your interviewer for feedback. His or her response could help you find the holes in your interview strategies. Good luck!

College Guide 2014
  • Orlando 101: Welcome to Orlando Weekly's college guide “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be k | 8/13/2014
  • How to study abroad (the right way) In the words of Saint Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Whether taking a weeklong excursion to Africa or spending a semester in Europe, studying abroad is at the top of many college bucket lists. So read away, m | 8/13/2014
  • Let the web be your guide The best sites for navigating Orlando culture | 8/13/2014
  • 6 things to do if you don’t love the club Want to go out, but you don’t feel like hanging out at clubs? Try one of these activities instead | 8/13/2014
  • You said it Students tell us about life near their campuses | 8/13/2014
  • Interns R Us How to land an internship that won’t make you resent being somebody else’s free labor | 8/13/2014
  • The best things in life are cheap (or free) Tuition is high, your student loan repayments are looming and chances are you barely have $2 stashed away in your dorm room for an emergency. But, somehow, you still gotta live. That’s what student discounts and freebies are for. They’re hardly publicize | 8/13/2014
  • Social studies The college experience isn’t just about book learning – it’s also about expanding your horizons, meeting people and teaching yourself to balance work and play. Your school has you covered on the work part of the equation – we’ll help you out with the playin | 8/13/2014
  • Eat this How to feed yourself when you don’t know how to cook and don’t have anything to eat | 8/13/2014
  • Cafeteria caloric values | 8/13/2014
  • Watering holes UCF college haunts Knight Library 11448 University Blvd., knightlibrary.com Named one of the top college bars in the country by thedailymeal.com, Knight Library has four bars, beer pong, tons of drink specials and notoriously gross bathrooms, just like an | 8/13/2014
  • Alcohol caloric values | 8/13/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus