Are you stressed about not having a job after graduating with your college degree? Well searching for internships while you are a full-time student is key to landing your dream job. According to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey Report,
- In 2018, the offer rate for interns is 59 percent, the acceptance rate is 77.3 percent, and the conversion rate is 45.6 percent. The acceptance rate increased from last year, while the other two figures dropped; this could be due to the state of the hiring market or the high number of eligible interns reported this year.
- For co-ops, the offer rate is 34.6 percent, the acceptance rate is 80.3 percent, and the conversion rate is 27.8 percent.
- The retention rate for intern hires after one year is 70.6 percent for those with internal experience (internship experience within the hiring organization) and 65.8 percent for those with external experience (internship experience with another organization). The retention rate for co-op hires with internal experience is 47.3 percent; for those with external experience, the rate is 46.6 percent. Meanwhile, the one-year retention rate for hires with neither internship nor co-op experience is 46.3 percent.
- After five years, the retention rate for intern hires with internal experience is 50.2 percent and it is 52.3 percent for those with external experience. The five-year co-op retention rates are slightly lower than they are for the one- year rates (internal experience: 36.7 percent; external experience: 37.4 percent). The rate for no internship or co-op experience is 41 percent.
A Not-So-Relaxing Caribbean Cruise
Ships are supposed to be majestic carriers, taking you on a journey across rolling waves and sun-drenched currents. Slap the word “intern” before it, and suddenly you feel sick and worried, cause that kind of ship (particularly finding one) isn’t always smooth sailing. Internships fall into that paradox of being abundant and rare simultaneously. There’s so many options, but that doesn’t mean every single one is for you. Paid or unpaid? How many credits? Part time or full time? College-affiliated or going rogue? You’ll spend hours thinking over the logistics. Then, you’re tasked with having to pick the industry, department, and actual position. Sounds fun, right? After you’ve narrowed down exactly how you want to spend a few months of your life for “the overall experience” (aka “something great to put on your resume”), you have the daunting task of actually applying.
Try Not to Panic at the Intern Disco
A common mistake people make is “panic applying” to internships just for the sake of applying. Take your time when applying. Don’t just apply to anything and everything if it’s really not something you’re interested in. You don’t want to be stuck with an internship you’re indifferent about. It’s okay to play the field, just make sure you have moderate interest. Explore your potential!
Skills Pay the Bills!
Unique skills! Embrace them! Avoid comparing yourself to your peers; you may have an affinity for something that others wish they had. Think about it, someone applying to a communications internship probably has developed rhetoric skills comparable to a numbers genius applying to an engineering internship. Just like his or her respective interests, every student is different. Cliché alert: celebrate your individuality! Use your cover letter to highlight your strengths. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between humility and bragging, but don’t be afraid to build yourself up. There’s no harm in showing a little swagger.
There Are No Meaningless Experiences
What’s your worst-case scenario? You take an internship that maybe you expected to love, but end up dreading. The ending date can’t come soon enough. That’s not a worst-case scenario; that’s a gift. Wouldn’t you rather find out that perhaps this industry isn’t what want now instead of after accepting a job offer post-graduation? Or, look at it from the other viewpoint: maybe you take an internship that you thought you would hate and end up finding your calling! No matter the outcome, every internship and experience gives you a deeper insight into the person you want to be.
No Sane, No Gain
Remember, internships don’t exist to torture you endlessly through your college years, as hard as that is to believe. They’re a lot more than a skillset on your growing resume. Take a step back and regain perspective. Losing your sanity over application season is the easiest way to drive yourself into exhaustion. Keep a grounded head on your shoulders and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of resources out there specifically dedicated to helping students find their perfect internship.
There’s Light (and Snacks) at the End of the Tunnel!
Take a second, breathe in, and smile. Because as intimidating as internship hunting can be, it presents you with the amazing opportunity to find your interests, practice your skills, and direct you on a path to post-grad happiness. Not to mention, the free intern snacks…totally worth it.
Check out Chegg internship search engine here.