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Via Devex : How to find and leverage volunteer and internship opportunities

It is almost impossible to land a job in global development without some relevant work experience. This can be one of the biggest challenges for recent graduates and professionals transitioning from other sectors who lack that development-specific experience.

Internships and volunteering work can be a great way to get over this hurdle. In addition to bulking up your resume, these experiences can help you figure out where your interests fit within the sector, said Kate Warren, executive vice president at Devex.

Here are three key things to think about as you look for ways to gain experience in the sector.

Consider the type of work

In seeking out internship and volunteering experience, it’s important to look for opportunities that can provide you with “really substantive, hands-on experience,” Warren said.

Some internships involve a lot of administrative tasks, she explained, which can be valuable as many entry-level jobs in the sector are administrative. However, Warren recommended looking for opportunities to work in the field or on technical projects, adding that these experiences can allow you to build on your existing knowledge and will be more impressive to employers.

Be selective when it comes to looking for volunteering work too, Warren recommended. While there are a lot of opportunities to give back through volunteering, these won’t necessarily use your skills and expertise in a way that demonstrates a growth and value add to an employer, she explained.

Prepare your pitch

In recent years, the sector has seen a trend toward paid internship opportunities and, as a result, organizations are thinking more strategically about how they structure these programs, Warren explained.

However, this may mean fewer intern positions are created, and with smaller organizations already less likely to have formal intern programs, don’t just stick to those positions that are advertised, Warren said. Instead, she recommended reaching out directly to department heads or staff to see where there might be opportunities for you to contribute.

The key is to highlight what you can bring to their organization, she explained. You should be prepared to tell them how your research project could align with their work, or how you could help them put together a marketing or fundraising plan, for example.

Showing organizations how you can contribute to their mission through project-based work will make them more likely to bring you on board, she added.

Focus on growing your networks

Make sure you are not just focused on the work at hand but also the networking advantages that come with these experiences, Warren said.

“Be really intentional about building that network during an internship or volunteer experience, whether it’s the people that you are working with in an organization, or stakeholders,“ she said.

Working in development often involves partnering with other organizations, funders, or donors and you should consider all of them as part of your growing network, Warren added. This network will be valuable when it comes to looking for referrals, references, or setting up informational interviews.

Via The Ladders : Unfortunately, every internship does not end with a job and the reasons are not always related to your capabilities.

Your internship is almost coming to an end and right now, all you want is to turn this small stint into a full-time job, isn’t it?

After all, it cannot get better than starting your career in a company you are familiar with and doing the work that deeply interests you. Internships don’t just add to your experience and give you exposure, they are also a great way for companies to take note of well-performing individuals and assess whether they can permanently fit the bill.

So, if you want your internship to end with a full-time job offer, here are six smart tips to make that dream a reality.

Give it your best

“Oh, that’s a no-brainer”, you might think but a lot of students take internships lightly which reflects in their work ethic and attitude. The key is to treat your internship like a real job and give it your best.

You might be juggling college and this internship, but you cannot let it affect your work. Remember that as an intern, you will always be under scrutiny. Whether it’s asking questions, being on time, adhering to deadlines, dressing professionally and managing your tasks well – all these factors matter. Hence, if you wish to convert this internship into a job, you need to leave a positive impression and stand out.

You don’t have to worry about being a know-it-all. This is your time to imbibe and learn. Work with enthusiasm and a positive attitude, and people around are bound to take notice.

Be proactive

Internships are your first-hand experience of the corporate world. You need to make that transition from a being a college student to an intern because the latter is a completely different space to be in.

It’s no longer just about finishing assignments on time and studying for tests, internships are a lot more demanding. So, put your problems as a university student aside and look ahead.

Take ownership of your work and be proactive in your ways. Identify loopholes and suggest measures the company can take, take up additional responsibilities and always ask for feedback to understand how you are being perceived.

Everyone appreciates proactiveness because it signifies passion and genuine interest.

Network internally

More than networking externally, it’s important to focus on making connections within the office. Here’s your time to strengthen your reputation and make connections. Start with building a rapport with your immediate supervisor and spend quality time with him/her.

In case there are any office activities or off-sites happening, make sure you participate as these are one of the few times you get to strike a connection with colleagues outside of work.

Building a strong network while working is always beneficial when you are trying to land the job and even if you don’t manage to convert the internship, it helps to make connections as you never know who could help you fuel your next career move.

Identify areas of interest

Internships let you evaluate where your interests lie and the line of work you see yourself in so maximize this time to understand yourself in order to set professional goals. Don’t be the intern who is clueless by the end of the internship – it reflects badly on you and shows a lack of seriousness towards your career.

Express eagerness

Many students hesitate in expressing their interest to work in the company as a full-time employee and are often disappointed when the internship does not end with a job offer. Do not wait to be offered a job because you cannot expect the company to magically know about your career goals.

So, towards the end of the internship, speak to the hiring manager and your supervisor and express your eagerness to work with the company. Tell them how you see yourself fit in, the value you will add and your experience as an intern. Do your bit and leave the rest to them.

Keep in touch

Unfortunately, every internship does not end with a job and the reasons are not always related to your capabilities. You might be extremely capable, but the company has a budget allotted for every team and sometimes it’s difficult to fit in someone they hadn’t budgeted for.

In such cases, don’t lose hope. Stay in touch with your supervisor and colleagues even after the internship comes to an end. You can start with adding them on LinkedIn, offer your assistance and ask them to recommend you if they come across a suitable job. Till then, work on building your personal brand and keep the hunt on!

Via INC : 5 Ways College Students Can Maximize Their Internships

Think of your next internship as training for a full-time gig.

In a highly competitive job market, it’s important to set yourself apart from the crowd though experience and skills. If you’re a current college student, the best way to do this is through internships. Internships help you not only test out the waters and see if this is the career path you want to pursue, but they also to allow you gain abilities and knowledge that will boost your resume.

Most companies, my own included, hire their best interns for official positions post-internship, so it’s crucial to stand out and do your best. I’ve mentored dozens of students over the years and can personally attest to how important internship experience is for one’s career journey.

An internship can be as short as three months, so make sure you follow the tips below to maximize your experience.


You want to break the ice as soon as you start your internship. Get to know your co-workers and supervisors; don’t limit your work relationships to only your fellow interns. Start to learn who is responsible for what.

My team is on the smaller side, and we really strive to have a fun, yet productive work environment. A team that meshes well together is the most effective. Building relationships and gaining a sense of how the company works will make your transition into becoming a full-time employee easier, and will also help you find a mentor willing to invest in you.

Speak Up and Take Initiative

You may be an intern, but you were selected to be a part of the team because the employer saw something in you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and take initiative. Learn the company’s way of doing things, and if you see a more efficient method, let them know.

Most of the interns that I eventually hire are those who not only complete the work assigned to them, but bring new ideas to the table. When they figure out time-saving methods for more menial tasks and ask for more responsibility, I know that they possess the work ethic that our business thrives on.

Be Curious

Of course, make sure you complete what’s been assigned to you, but if you see an aspect of the business that you’re interested in learning more about, ask your supervisor if there’s anything you can do to help.

There are many facets to the PR business, and the only way to figure out where you excel is by shadowing different leads. My team makes that really easy by introducing every intern to every employee, and outlining their roles.

You are there to learn and expand your knowledge, and asking for more responsibility or tasks will help you stand out.

Adapt ASAP

Dive into the culture of the work environment as soon as you can. The quicker you do so, the easier your work will be. Businesses run at a fast pace, and you’ll want to keep up. I’ve had interns struggle to keep up with the speed of our work environment and in an effort to catch up, submit inaccurate work.

This spurs a lost of trust between the intern and lead, and forces the employee to double check the intern’s work, which is a waste of time. As an intern, you’re there to learn and help, but you don’t want to negatively affect the work flow of the business. Be efficient, find your way around, and do good work.

Do Your Homework

Go the extra mile to learn more about the business and familiarize yourself with the company’s upcoming projects, goals, etc. When interns pick up on the industry lingo quickly, I’m impressed.

Reviewing the client list or scrolling through our Instagram is just a quick and easy way to get those names in the back of your head. Internships are there to teach you and give you a sneak peek to help determine if that’s the career path you want to take.

Take advantage of the potential skills you can gain while there and make the effort to network. You never know, it may even turn into a full-time job.

Via The Balance Careers : The Essential Benefits of Internships

What is an internship? Simply put, it is an opportunity that employers offer to students interested in gaining work experience in particular industries. With this primer, learn more about what internships are and why students benefit from them.

How Long Internships Last

An intern works at a company for a fixed period of time, usually three to six months. Some students will have a part-time internship in which they work at the office for just a few days or hours per week. Others will have full-time internships, meaning they work the same hours as the company’s full-time employees. Internships can be any time of the year, including over the summer and during the regular quarter, trimester or semester.

Why Internships Are Important

Internships offer students a hands-on opportunity to work in their desired field. They learn how their course of study applies to the real world and build a valuable experience that makes them stronger candidates for jobs after graduation.

An internship can be an excellent way to “try out” a certain career. For instance, you may think you want a fast-paced job in advertising after college, but after an internship, you may find that it’s not for you; that’s valuable insight that will help you choose your career path.

In some colleges, internships also count towards course credit. This is dependent on your individual school’s requirements, but usually, a three-month-long internship counts as a full course credit.

Who Can Be an Intern

Interns are usually college or graduate students. While interns are usually older students, like juniors or seniors, freshman and sophomores can seek out internships as well. Having several internships while in college can be very impressive to potential employers.

What Interns Do

The daily tasks of an intern can vary widely, even within the same industry. It is largely dependent on the company itself. In some internships, you may do mainly administrative tasks or run errands. But in others, you will be an important part of the team, making substantial contributions to the company.


Unpaid internships are common, but there are plenty of paid internships too. Whether or not you will get a wage depends on your industry and role. For instance, editorial interns are rarely paid, while engineering students almost always are.

If you can afford it, an unpaid internship can still be an extremely beneficial experience. You can get serious work experience, build a portfolio and establish a network of professional contacts which can help you after you graduate.

Job Outlook

Some companies do extend full-time job offers to exceptional interns, though this is not guaranteed and is the exception rather than the norm. To better your chances of this happening, be proactive in your work, pay attention to detail, be willing to listen and take criticism and volunteer for special projects.

Positioning yourself as a hardworking, reliable worker puts you in good standing for consideration. If the company is not hiring at the time your internship ends, do not be disappointed or think it’s a reflection of your work. It’s often simply a budgeting issue. You can still probably count on them for a glowing reference, which you can leverage when applying for jobs later.

Via The Balance Careers : Finding the Right Internship Takes Time, Planning, & Patience

Paid Internships are Available in Certain Fields and Industries.

Getting a paid internship over the summer is the dream of many college students. It doesn’t have to be just a dream if you take the right approach, engage in some networking, and start your search early.

In addition to paid internships, you may want to look into ways to fund your internship (check your college’s career services office, various organizations, and foundations, etc.). Some students are able to do an unpaid internship in their field of interest by supplementing their internship with a part-time job.

What Defines a Successful Internship?

A successful internship is one that consists of one or more of the following:

  1. An internship that teaches the basic knowledge and skills required to get hired for a full-time job (either in the company where you interned or by one of its competitors).
  2. An internship experience that will positively enhance your resume.
  3. An internship that helps you develop professional networking contacts that can assist you in your future job search.

Speak with academic advisors, school career counselors and professors to discover which companies in your target industry offer worthwhile internships where you’ll receive real, value-added experience.

Prospecting for the Right Internship

Some of the best internship experiences come as a result of prospecting. This means identifying companies or organizations that you want to work for and contacting them directly. This can end up providing some of the best internships around for a number of reasons.

  • By identifying companies that don’t actually advertise their internships, you will avoid competing with thousands of other applicants who also found the internship listing online.
  • By contacting a company directly, you will often get an opportunity to help create the type of experience you are seeking and may be allowed to have some input into what the internship involves.

For students from smaller cities and towns, prospecting is often the only way to find potential internships. It’s important to follow some simple strategies in order to increase your chances of landing the internships of your dreams. Of course, the career field or industry you are pursuing will largely determine if paid internships are available.

Even with prospecting, there’s no guarantee that students will be able to land a paid internship. Employers have seen a significant rise in the number of students seeking internships. Part of this increase is due to the fact that more students are realizing that employers are looking for students with relevant experience required to hire on for future full-time jobs.

Another reason a number of seniors (and post-graduates) are also interested in finding an internship is that they currently cannot find a job in their area of interest. This says a lot about the state of the current economy and less about employer requirements or the lack of knowledge and skills of recent college graduates.

Paid Internships and Programs

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), intern salaries have increased by 3.7 percent from 2017 to 2018, for all degree levels. The salary varies by industry, but NACE estimates the average is about $16.35 per hour.

If you’re looking for an internship that pays well, you’ll have the best luck with companies in the technology industry. In 2017, Facebook and Microsoft paid $8,000 and $7,100 per month, respectively, according to a Glassdoor survey. Other companies that pay well include large companies such as ExxonMobil, Amazon, Salesforce, Apple, and AIG.

You can also pay a fee to participate in an internship program that includes interview and resume coaching, guaranteed placement, and a choice of domestic or international locations. Some of these internship programs also offer excellent salaries but the upfront fees are often expensive and required in order to participate in the program. In general, it pays to be wary of programs with fees, but for the right student who can easily afford to pay a fee for their internship, some excellent opportunities exist in specific industries and career fields.

Helpful Tips for Students

Some statistics say that up to 80 percent of job opportunities, including internships, are never advertised, and instead get filled through personal networks and referrals. It pays to talk to anyone and everyone who might have some sort of connection to your target industry or internship. You can also take other steps to uncover leads to potential internships:

  1. Network with family, friends, acquaintances, previous employers, faculty, and your college’s alumni to seek out people who are currently doing the type of work you want to do. You never know who your parents know, or if you have well-connected neighbors in your target industry until you ask.
  2. Volunteer experiences and part-time jobs can often turn into full-time jobs after graduation.
  3. Search and research organizations so you can include that information in your cover letter or introduction email as you reach out to employers through websites or when prospecting for internships online.
  4. Create well-crafted, targeted resumes and cover letters that focus on the organization and position to which you are applying. Keep in mind that just one typo can put you out of the running.
  5. Have a methodical process to log your interviews, and set dates to follow-up with employers via email or phone. Don’t forget the importance of thank notes in the interviewing process. Oftentimes students feel that they are being a pest but many companies see this behavior as gauging a motivated student as well as someone who really wants to come and work for their particular company.

Expressing appreciation and inquiring about where the interviewing process currently stands for an internship can be done in a way that does not annoy a prospective employer and may end up being what it takes to get invited for an interview.