Now is the time to look for your summer internship

Alison Malek, Staff Writer

An internship is an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in their area of study. The student will gain relevant knowledge and skills required for their success in the career field they wish to enter. Internships tend to be short, usually only a 2-6 month duration and can be paid or unpaid.

A 2014 student survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that 65 percent of students in paid internships were offered a job after the experience. Students with an unpaid internship, however, showed only 39.5 percent were offered a job after the experience. Unpaid internships showed to be more clerical task related.

In reference to when to apply for an internship, Gretchen Rixie, manager at the Career and Employment Services at Madison College says: “The time to apply is now. Though applications may be open until March, employers are looking to hire now.”

Rixie recommends a number of possibilities, but ultimately highlights her office at the Career and Employment Services. Although many programs at Madison College have internships built into their curriculum, Rixie also advises using multiple websites, such as Wis Tech Connect, Wis Connect, and Inspire Madison Region.

Rixie suggests customizing and updating resumes, building connections with targeted employers, making sure the requirements are understood, having the time and are willing to commit, and practice for the interview. Rixie tells Madison College students to: “Start early. Be willing to learn and adapt, but also be open to receiving feedback.”

Other tips for success include, being on time, communicating efficiently, taking advantage of trainings and learning the materials, asking questions when they arise, keeping confidentiality and holding yourself accountable.

“Internships are a really great experience,” Rixie adds as she recommends students to take one on, but choose the site carefully.