11 Things College Students Look For In An Internship

11 Things College Students Look For In An Internship

Employers aren't the only ones with certain requirements.
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As college students, searching and applying for internships is something we have pretty much had to adopt as a new hobby. We find certain job searching websites that are easiest to use. We learn all the ins and outs of networking to find killer positions. And we also grow accustomed to looking at the requirements that go along with each job description. "Must have: prior internship experience, be a junior or senior in college, work well in a team, be proficient in Excel, have detailed writing skills," and the list goes on and on. We are familiar with the fact that each company has different things that they look for in an intern. But, wouldn't it be nice if the companies were familiar with what we college students look for in an internship?

After some thought and asking around to some of my friends, I composed a list of things I saw coming up repeatedly that college students search for in an internship.

1. Networking/connections

As many of us have had to learn, it's all about "who you know." I have learned this first hand and it's actually pretty cool to see how it plays out. The more experience we have, the more connections we make, and the more opportunities we have for the future.

2. Experience in different aspects of your industry

Sure, we want to have an internship experience in our area of study to put on our resume. But, we want more than that. We want to learn the ins and outs of the industry. We want to soak up every possible piece of knowledge imaginable.

3. Pay

Let's be real. We don't expect it, but when you are a broke college student, some kind of compensation is always a plus. It makes us feel like we are out in the real world doing big kid stuff. It is especially nice to have some kind of hourly pay or stipend when we are interning in a city far from home.

4. Flexibility


No, not so we can go to music festivals every weekend. Different schools usually have different start and end dates so it is nice to work for a company that is willing to keep that in mind when hiring interns. Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of internship programs run through the summer and there may be events planned far in advance such as family weddings, vacations, or even a program for school during that time. A company who is understanding of these things is super helpful.

5. Good mentorship

Your leadership can make or break your work experience. Having a person to look up to who is respectful, easy to talk to, a good listener, and gives helpful advice can make your work much more enjoyable and productive.

6. A comfortable environment

Along with a good mentor, college students look for a working environment where they can be comfortable enough to learn from their mistakes in a nonjudgmental environment. They seek constructive criticism and support from their coworkers.

7. Good location

College is the perfect time to explore, so of course a good location is key. Why not try out a new place while we are young? Exploring a cool city during our college years is the perfect time to do it.

8. Friendly coworkers


#SquadGoals on fleek, am I right? Coming into any new job is scary. But we can only hope the people are friendly and accepting enough to make the beginning of our journey enjoyable. A lot of college students seek an internship program where the interns work together on projects. Sometimes, we like to know there are other people there that are our age and on the same page as us.

9. Chance for self-exploration

With any new experience comes some kind of lesson. Maybe we will find out marine biology isn't for us. Maybe we will decide we want to pursue a career in fashion instead. But, we might just find out the career path we are on is exactly where we should be.

10. A deeper knowledge of your desired field

We've seen and heard horror stories about doing internships where we just do the dirty work like fetching coffee and cleaning up after our bosses. Now we know most of that happens in movies. Overall, we want to walk away feeling like we have one step in the door. We want to take away something for ourselves as well as make a difference with the company.

11. The opportunity to form lasting relationships

As far as connections go, we want to do the best that we can at our internship so we know we always have someone to refer back to as a resource.

Being an intern is exciting for us because it is our trial run at the real world. It is a way we can apply ourselves to our field of study and test our abilities at the job. We want to take away just as much from the position as the company wants to receive from us. However, being hard-working college students also seeking the complete experience, we have a few things we look for during our time as an intern.
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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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