Internships

Internships - Are They Right For You?

 

Are you wondering whether working in the medical field is a good fit for you? Do you want to gain some graphical design experience to help you land your dream job? An internship may give you insights into which career options you would enjoy. It could also help you develop your skills and give you practical, real world experience to improve your future job prospects.

 

Where to intern

 

Internship opportunities can be found in a variety of industries including business, technology, fashion, advertising, science, engineering, law, and medicine. Some internship positions are available to high school students, although most are typically for university students, college students, and post-graduates. Positions are available with companies, universities, government departments, think-tanks and charities.

 

Pay and study abroad

 

Choosing to do an internship with a charitable organization can help you develop your knowledge while contributing to a worthy cause.  You can also choose to combine work with seeing more of the world by doing an internship abroad. However, this can be an expensive option as many internships pay very little or do not pay at all. As well, you need to consider aspects such as health insurance, accommodations, safety and other factors. If you choose this route, you may want to consider going through one the organizations that specialize in helping others find international internships.

 

Practical matters

 

There are many types of internships available in a variety of fields. You can choose to intern during the summer or during the school year. You may work full-time or part-time, long-term or short-term. The terms of work will depend on you and the organization you choose to work for.

 

When choosing an internship position, make sure that it aligns with your personal interests, ambitions and goals. Ensure that you are satisfied with the location, hours, pay, opportunities to perform truly substantive work in your chosen field and other issues important to you. And do not overlook budgeting. If the position is unpaid, ask yourself whether you can really afford to work for free over the summer. If you want to work outside your hometown, possibly even abroad, ask yourself whether you can really finance that.

 

You can find out about internship opportunities by:

 

  • Searching the internet,
  • Visiting the library and consulting internship directories, and
  • Using your personal networks – teachers, guidance councillors, friends, and friends of friends may know of an opportunity that is right for you.

 

Apply only for those positions that you are serious about. Be prepared to provide a resume and to attend an interview. The application process varies from formal to informal, depending on the employer. Internships can be amazing experiences if you choose one that suits you!

 

The following list of sites that you may find useful while researching internships (including volunteer positions):

 

http://www.youth.gc.ca/eng/topics/career_planning/internships.shtml

 

http://www.canadiancareers.com/internships.html

 

http://www.toronto.ca/telmi/em_ps_internships_and_mentorships.html

 

http://www.careeredge.org/

 

http://www.careers.utoronto.ca/weblinks/1fInternships.aspx .

 

Do you have a story about your internship experience that you’d like to share? Visit our submissions page and send us your article and photo. We would love to hear from you!