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Everything You Need to Know About College Internships 

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In a job market where you need experience for even entry-level roles, internships are crucial for college students. They’re not only great for building a resume, but they can also help you discover what you want to do once you graduate. But how do you find them? And more importantly, how do you land them? Here’s everything you need to know about internships, straight from the Collegeboxes experts!

What is an Internship?

Internships are short-term work opportunities for students and early-career professionals. Interns will get entry-level job experience through the role and learn the ropes of whatever profession they’re interning in. Interns may help with administrative tasks, work on projects, and make connections with professionals in their field. 

What’s the Difference Between an Internship and a Summer Job?

Internships usually last through the semester, so you can find one in the fall, spring, and summer. Internships that take place during the school year, spring and fall, will usually be part-time and cap you at 15-20 hours a week. But these internships will typically last a few months. 

Summer internships will usually be a full 40 hours a week, but typically will only last anywhere from 4-12 weeks. As of 2023, most internships will pay around $17 per hour, with the higher end of the spectrum being as high as over $25 per hour. You’ll find higher salaries in places like California or New York but remember that the cost of living will quickly eat up most of that paycheck!

The phrase “summer job” is a broad term, so internships can technically fall under that category. But not all summer jobs count as internships. Both are a great way to earn some income while you’re out of school, but internships may look a little better on a professional resume. If you’re expecting to graduate soon, try trading in your summer gig for an internship instead!

Girl standing in front of a whiteboard covered in sticky notes.

Do Internships Only Take Place in the Summer?

Nope! You can get an internship any time of year, basically. But different application pools will open at different times. So, if you want to land a summer internship, you’ll want to start looking during April/May. Whereas, if you want something in the fall, you should start looking as soon as August/September. Looking for a springtime position? Aim for applying early in the year, like January/February.

Are All Internships Paid?

It depends. While many internship programs now offer at least some sort of financial compensation, there are still some unpaid internships out there. And like we mentioned before, wages can vary greatly. So, if you’re looking to make some cash while you get experience, keep an eye out for paid positions.

Can I Go Out of State for an Internship?

If you’re doing an internship during the school year, it’s a better idea to stay local. That way, you’ll have an easier time juggling work and school. But in the summertime, you can branch out and try to land internships in new cities. 

For example, there are many opportunities in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Getting an internship out there is possible, but it’s tougher than landing something in your home state. But, if you can make it work, it’s an amazing opportunity!

How to Move for an Internship:

If you want to get an out of state internship, make sure you have a place to stay! Many students will opt to board with friends or family that live in the city they intern in. You can also find rooms to sublet on places like Reddit or Craigslist. 

Sometimes, workplaces are hesitant to hire folks that live out of state, especially if the role isn’t fully remote. So, if you already know where you would be staying during this internship, make sure you apply using that local address! That will greatly increase your odds of getting noticed.

Storage with Collegeboxes

Traveling for an internship but don’t have anywhere to put your stuff? Well, that’s not a problem when you sign up with Collegeboxes! We can keep your stuff safe while you take care of business. Or we can even ship wherever you need. No matter where you’re going, Collegeboxes can help you get there.

How to Find an Internship Near You:

When it comes to internships, you’re going to have better chances landing something local to you. But it can feel like there aren’t many internships out there! In reality, you may have to look around to find a good opportunity. Not finding the right roles on LinkedIn or Indeed? Try this instead:

  • Asking your professors 
  • Asking your academic counselor 
  • Subscribing to university newsletters 
  • Sending emails directly to companies and teams you want to work with 
Group of young professionals at an office table

How to Make the Most Out of an Internship

Remember, while internships can be exciting, they’re meant to help you grow as a professional! They also help you discover what you want out of your career after college. Treat this just like you would an actual job. Show up on time, looking nice and focused on doing good work. 

At the end of the day, you only hurt yourself if you don’t take your internship seriously. Who knows? You might even get a job out of it! So, get ready to put your best foot forward and make the most of every opportunity. 

And remember, no matter where you need to go, Collegeboxes is here to help. Don’t let the logistics of moving prevent you from chasing your dreams, sign up with us today!