College is often hectic and it can be overwhelming to score an impressive engineering internship. If you’re interested in the tech industry, an internship can help you apply your new skills – and maybe come up with a postgraduate job. In other words, it is an important step in your career.
Whether you have an interest in finance, software or engineering, technical internships are available to you. All types of companies hire hundreds of interns every season.
Read on for practical advice on deciding what kind of internship you want and how to tailor your resume for technical internships to prepare for recruiting.
What is a technical internship?
Technical internships are an opportunity to earn credits, test a job and apply practical knowledge in real-life situations. Completing an internship is a good first step towards your career. Some internships end in a part-time or full-time job offer.
Tech companies hire for internships year round. Companies like Google, Meta, Airbnb and Uber hire hundreds of interns every session. Most internships start in September, January and June and last two to three months to connect with school semesters.
How much internships pay depends on the company. Some companies pay per hour or a fixed amount for the entire term. Unpaid internships are less common now, but still exist. Before applying to companies that interest you, review the Intern Pay Policy.
Technical internship benefits
- Hands-on experience to add to your resume
- Networking Opportunities for Future Career Opportunities
- School credits
- Possible compensation
- Potentially higher earning potential through experience
- Possible job offer after internship completion
How do you get a technical internship?
Landing a technical internship depends on good preparatory work. Choose the right internship, learn to network and prepare for interviews to distinguish yourself from other applicants.
1. Start preparing early
Start searching at the latest in the season before the stage starts.
If you are looking for a position during the school year, you should apply three to six months before the internship begins. You have time to plan your course load or determine any extras scholarship needs†
courses like basic programming prepares you for internship applications before recruitment begins. Other students are likely to take the same courses, so distinguish yourself with side projects and extracurricular activities.
Networking is an easy way to get a referral, so try to start networking as early as possible.
Alumni from your school who work at your desired company are a good place to start – you already have something in common.
2. Decide what kind of internship you want
Tech is a huge field with hundreds of potential job titles. Start paying attention to the industry. Follow tech news sources — like this website — to learn more about it.
Consider the size of the company and the corporate culture you are interested in. Here are some great technical companies looking for students:
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Read Crunchbase, company blogs, and Glassdoor to make sure the company you’re interested in is right for you.
If you want to turn an internship into a job, target employers who are known for hiring interns. Don’t be afraid to ask about positions after your internship. You save yourself and the company time by being clear about your intentions.
3. Explore multiple ways to find stages
No matter what school you go to, it probably offers career services. Most schools offer resume reviews, sample interviews, or advice on choosing the right internship.
Check your school’s career portal for companies that have already agreed to hire your school’s staff. Don’t forget to browse job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, WayUp and other common job boards.
Networking is a valuable skill that you can use throughout your career.
READ THIS: How to network as an introvert
Find alumni and others who live and work near you in your intended field, and ask them over coffee via LinkedIn. You will be amazed at how many people are happy to accept your offer. Remember, most people are happy to help you because they were once in your position.
Even if a connection you make doesn’t get you an internship offer, keeping in touch with network connections may help you find a job later.
4. Strategically Prepare for Recruitment
You can prepare for landing your technical internship by preparing for the specific position you want. Know the industry and company you are in the hiring process with.
Don’t be afraid to find former interns on LinkedIn and read their internship descriptions. Make sure you know the basics of performing all the listed tasks.
Take advantage of your school’s career center. Whether you are interested in web development† software engineeringor video game development, your career center can help you tailor your resume and create a compelling cover letter. Have someone review your application materials before submitting it.
5. Accept an internship that suits you
Before accepting an internship, make sure it aligns with your career goals, has real responsibilities, and fits into your schedule.
Companies that pay their interns or offer job placement opportunities show that they value their interns and can provide you with a better internship experience.
Ask former interns about their experience or check Glassdoor to make sure the corporate culture suits you.