If you think internships are just for kids with no work experience, think again.
Internships are a great way for career changers to re-tool their professional lives, according to Janet Boston, executive director of IndianaINTERN.net.
IndianaINTERN.net is a free internship-matching program from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce that connects students and employers with internship opportunities in Indiana through an online database of more than 6,300 students, 7,200 employers and 700 available positions.
You can even get personal assistance—including a hotline to answer questions and provide internship guidance and resource materials. New this year: When you create a profile to access IndianaINTERN.net’s services and name your search with a specific keyword, you’ll get a text when a new internship that matches opens up.
The number of “non-traditional” aged interns registering with IndianaINTERN.net is growing, although it’s not clear how many adults are taking advantage of opportunities that used to be seen as something just for young people who needed to get a foot in the door, Boston says.
But every year, the number of non-traditional interns nominated for IndianaINTERN.net’s annual awards program grows, offering proof that employers value interns with maturity and experience, Boston says.
“Internships are a good opportunity for people who have been downsized from their previous job or out of the workforce caring for family members,” she says. “Employers often use internships as an extended interview. If they are impressed, they are more likely to hire you.”
Boston offers a few tips for anyone considering an internship:
- Research companies when you apply for their internships. “You want to be prepared and show you’ve done your homework,” she says.
- Treat an internship interview like a job interview. Don’t look at your phone (better yet, turn it off and put it out of sight). Make eye contact. Dress professionally. Visit IndianaINTERN.net for more advice.
- Say thanks. Send a handwritten note, or, at least, an appreciative email with a few key details about what you learned and shared during the interview. “Edit all your written correspondence and ask a trusted person to read it over, too,” Boston advises. That goes for cover letters and resumes, too, she adds.
- It’s a small, small world. Employers in your desired career field know—and talk to—others. An internship is a vehicle for networking and to grow your reputation for credibility and hard work on the job. Use that opportunity to expand career contacts, and stay in touch with people you meet.
Paid Internship Opportunities
You could qualify for a paid internship opportunity through Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana, the state’s work-study program. As an EARN Indiana intern, you’ll find employers who are excited to help you grow your resume and gain valuable skills to prepare you for life after graduation. Create a free student profile on IndianaINTERN.net to find out if you’re eligible for EARN Indiana.
Consider an Internship
Internships are a valuable way to get a foot in the door for your dream job. Don’t know where to start or how to find one?
IndianaINTERN.net is a free, statewide internship matching service. Your college’s career center can help, too, and be sure to use your network (friends, relatives, work associates, religious organizations and community organizations) to explore more opportunities.