Tips for Career-Launching Internships

While applying for internships may be tedious, getting one can seriously help the job search. Students that complete an internship are 15% more likely to be employed after college, and about 70% of employers offer their interns full-time jobs. Internships provide a great opportunity for job seekers to:

  • Make professional connections.
  • Build their resumes.
  • Receive compensation or college credit.
  • Learn more about an industry.
  • Develop and hone various skills.

Read on for some helpful tips on navigating the internship process.

tips for career launching internships

Tips for Landing the Internship

Getting an internship is made easier with proper planning, research and preparation. Keep these tips in mind when searching for internship opportunities.

1. Know What to Look For

When researching different companies and internship opportunities, narrow down options based on the following criteria:

  • What type of organization do I want to work with?
  • What’s my desired internship timeframe and location?
  • Can I balance responsibilities like work, school and personal life with this internship?
  • Should the internship be paid? If so, what pay range am I looking for?

These factors can help internship seekers find opportunities that align with their needs and goals. Some helpful resources for finding internships include:

  • Business networking sites like LinkedIn and Handshake.
  • Friends, family, classmates and coworkers.
  • Honor societies.
  • Alum networks.
  • University career services offices.
  • Career counselors.

Someone looking for an internship can also generate their own leads by contacting companies of interest to pitch the idea.

2. Prepare a Resume

After identifying opportunities based on their needs and interests, an internship seeker should polish their resume for the application process. Some helpful preparation tips include:

  • Using available resources — like university career resource centers — for resume and cover letter coaching.
  • Limiting the resume to one page to keep it readable and concise.
  • Including all relevant skills and work experience.
  • Using the cover letter to demonstrate how the experiences listed in the resume can apply to the internship.

3. Be Ready for the Interview

If a hiring manager shows interest in an internship application, they may reach out to schedule an interview. Here are tips to prepare for the interview:

  • Research the company and industry.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Practice maintaining good posture, holding eye contact and exuding confidence.
  • Leave for in-person interviews early to account for traffic and parking.
  • Bring extra copies of relevant documents to the interview.
  • Bring a notebook and writing utensils to take notes during the interview.

Practice answering some common internship interview questions, like:

  • Can you share a little about yourself?
  • What do you hope to gain from this internship?
  • Why do you want to pursue this industry?
  • Can you list your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do you prioritize your workload?
  • What skills can you bring to this role?

Launch Your Career With These Internship Tips

We’ve covered the best practices for landing an internship, but what about making the most of the opportunity? Explore several tips for growing, learning and staying organized throughout an internship.

1. Meet as Many People as Possible

Interns should aim to connect with people in their department and understand their roles. Meeting people is a fantastic way to make connections and network with individuals who have similar career goals. 

Even interns who don’t stay with a company for the long term can get referrals from people in the organization. The more familiar employees are with an intern’s work and personality, the stronger their recommendations.

2. Set Goals and Work Hard

When starting the internship, an intern should think about what they hope to achieve. Some internship goals might be:

  • Developing skills relevant to an industry or profession.
  • Improving written and oral communication skills.
  • Cultivating leadership skills.
  • Building a network of contacts.

An intern should meet with their supervisor at the beginning of the internship to discuss these goals. Doing so can leave a lasting impression on the employer, as it demonstrates ambition.

3. Track Progress

eep a journal to recall new skills, experiences and achievements over the course of the internship.

An intern should note everything they learn and accomplish during their internship. They can keep a journal to recall new skills, experiences and achievements over the course of the internship.

These notes can be excellent talking points for future job interviews. Interns can also apply the skills they develop to their future careers.

4. Seek Out Growth Opportunities

An internship’s first couple of days or weeks will likely include onboarding and training. An intern should use training time to ask questions and learn how the company works.

As they shift from training to day-to-day responsibilities, they can ask their supervisor about growth and learning opportunities beyond their regular tasks. Approaching each day with curiosity and a growth mindset can help people get the most from an internship.

5. Stay Organized

An intern should try to complete tasks in a timely manner. After completing one assignment, they should ask for another. If they start to feel overwhelmed with projects, they should speak with their supervisor for guidance. Some other time management and organization tips for internships include:

  • Keeping to-do lists of projects and deadlines.
  • Taking notes during meetings.
  • Maintaining a neat, organized workspace.

6. Ask for Feedback

An intern should request feedback or a performance review from their supervisor a few weeks into the internship. This evaluation offers a sense of what the intern does well and ways to improve their performance. Additionally, asking for feedback highlights the desire to learn and grow — a valuable trait for many employers.

7. Keep in Touch

When approaching the end of their internship, an intern might consider sending personalized thank-you notes to people they worked with. The intern should express gratitude for the company’s role in achieving their career goals.

If an intern wants to work with the company longer, staying in touch can increase their chances of being contacted about a job opening. For instance, they might send former colleagues regular school and work updates. They can also invite those team members to coffee or lunch to catch up.

8. Reflect on the Internship

After the internship, an intern should reflect on their performance feedback, accomplishments and things they learned. They can meet with a career counselor to discuss the experience, gain career advice and determine the next steps in their journey.

Even if that career path doesn’t turn out to be the right fit, an intern can still update their resume and apply their experiences to another field. Every internship experience is valuable.

Check Out Danaher’s Career-Driving Internships

Check Out Danaher’s Career-Driving Internships

At Danaher, we’re passionate about helping people through every step of the job search process, from finding internships to long-term careers. We strive to help everyone grow their industry knowledge and expertise.

Having developed groundbreaking solutions in life sciences, diagnostics and many other fields, we offer various job and internship opportunities to help others thrive in these careers.

Our medical and scientific innovations aim to change lives and make the world a better place. We invite you to be a part of our initiative. To develop new skills and take the next steps in your career, find internship openings at Danaher today!

Check out open roles across Danaher or join our talent community today.