Summer before Senior Year/For Credit internship
This is an extremely important summer for you. It’s the last one before you graduate. Your college might require a semester internship (hopefully it does) and this will be your last chance before graduation to do something related to a desired career—or your last chance to “try it out.”
You have to go about finding an internship in a similar manner to finding a job. You do have to realize however that you might not get paid, so depending on your home/family situation, you have to take this into consideration. If you need the money, and many people do, you have to consider taking a job—but trying to get a job that is as close to an internship as possible. Something that can give you skills that you’ll need for a career.
Thinking back on my own summer jobs (they were not internships but gave me excellent work experience), I worked for the Youth Conversation Corp (I was lucky enough to get this through a lottery), the local Community Park, summer camp …. I had assorted other jobs (some awful one like the one where I cleaned typewriters—yes I’m old enough to have cleaned typewriters), supermarket cashier, etc. But I can look back at all those jobs and say I learned something.
During the semester: If your college gives you credit for an in-semester internship, it will be the most important internship you will have. It will be the time to really figure out if this is what you want to do with your life and fine tune your course schedule for your senior year. It will also be the time where you can make professional contacts—people who really can help you find your first job when you graduate. If people like you and respect you, and think you do a good job, they generally want to help you. The HR people in just about any company would prefer to recommend someone who has been personally vouched for by a person in their company. It makes their life easier and the hiring process more full proof—you are a known and proven entity.
I think back on my internship. I wanted to be a Park Ranger in a National park. My internship ended up in a southern city in their park’s department. The experience made me realize that being isolated in a National park wouldn’t work for me, but having the ability to plan events for a city park would be very appealing. I then realized that I needed to have many more business classes under my belt and went back and adjusted my class schedule.