Use volunteering as an internship and internships as summer jobs
Over the summer, many college students are looking for something academic to do. Many students take on internships, but internships are extremely competitive. In the same way, many need the additional income that is provided by a summer job, and their schedules don’t match up where they can also take on an internship. I have found a way to use what you are doing over the summer as a well-rounded opportunity.
Volunteer where you want to intern
If several applications for internships are denied, don’t give up, apply to be a volunteer at the same organization. In most organizations, volunteers do similar work and gain the same experience as interns, just at a slower pace, but volunteers can continue to volunteer in the same organization even beyond the time that an intern is allotted for their internship. In addition, becoming more familiar with the organization and the people in it will give you better connections to get you that internship next time around.
Don’t forget internships can sometimes be paid
On the other side of the spectrum, summer jobs are an important means for extra cash. What many students don’t know is that there are many entry-level paid internships. Usually you have to either be a specific year in college, have some previous experience, or even have volunteered at the organization before, but sometimes the requirements are the same as an unpaid internship. In my personal experience I have volunteered for an organization for a few months, liked the organization and its mission, and applied for an internship. I was accepted and have been given a chance that after four months of unpaid interning, there would be two months of paid internship, equaling a six-month assignment. This also means that since two months will be paid, the internship will have a dual purpose, it will be my summer job as well as my academic internship, and that is the best of both worlds. So if you are struggling to get an internship or job, think of creative ways to gain the experience and get around the problem.
Every student has the opportunity to gain experience in the field they are interested in, all you have to do is do your research and think critically.
Natasha is studying Biology as a Junior at the University of South Florida. She is a Pre-Veterinary student and plans to specialize in wildlife and zoological animals. Natasha has been involved in National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two years. Outside of school, she is involved in Performing Arts and Theatre.