If you are a college student or considering higher education after high school, make sure that an internship or multiple internship experiences are part of your college experience. While it isn’t common for us at Beacon to place new college graduates into positions, we do occasionally fill roles like those. We also attend events in the technology field and are networking with young professionals all the time. One of the most crucial mistakes we encounter from time to time, is the lack of any internship experience during a college career.

Most employers are going to look for experiences you have had working with organizations. While this is definitely the case in IT, it is going to be common for any industry. Companies and organizations want to find those transferrable skills from your past experiences and how they can help in the role or roles you are interested in with theirs. Personal projects and classroom work are solid examples but having experience at an organization where you can ask for references or letters of recommendation can go an even longer way. It shows your ability to work well with others in a professional setting as well and proves that you can fit within their organization too. Beside the benefit to the future employers, it gives you the ability to get real-world experience and you can determine what roles you will like in the future.

Some ideas for how to find internships:

• College career centers
• Job fairs
• Personal network
• LinkedIn
• Online search
• Alumni organizations
• Cold calling your favorite companies

In any case, most of the time you may have to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there when finding out about the potential for an internship for you. Remember, the answer is always no…unless you ask.