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The search for internships: finding the right one

January 30, 2010

Finding the perfect internship

When I was accepted as a journalism major at Cal State Northridge, I learned that  I would have to complete an internship in order to graduate. The little I knew about internships didn’t make me think it was going to be a fun experience. I figured I would probably be stuck getting coffee and answering phones at some newspaper or magazine. Not my idea of a positive resume builder.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I landed the perfect internship, perfectly suited to my interests and career goals. Would it have been perfect for everyone? Probably not, but this internship was a match made just for me.

I was excited to get an internship offer at a website. I knew they needed me to do research, so I thought I would just be filling in excel sheets with the info I found, working from home, and occasionally checking in at the office to get new projects. That would have been fine with me—I was just excited to be working at this particular website. But it turns out they also wanted me to analyze the research.

They wanted to know what the research meant to me–as a college student, young adult and intern. The people at my internship were picking my brain and using the product to help develop a better website.

I’ve never had a job that wanted my insight, along with my actual work. Other jobs I’ve held were less than stimulating. But this job, this internship, it was interesting. And I felt my insight was important and valued.

I like to do work that makes me think, engage,which is one of the reasons why this internship is so great. Maybe for some,an internship is just a blip on their resume, a means to an end—the degree. But for me, it’s been a valuable, exciting and educational experience.

There are different types of internships and different types of interns. As you start your search for a perfectly matched internship, talk to each employer and find out what they most need help with – and find the right fit for you. You can use the search to help you get started looking for a summer internship.

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