Don’t fret if you don’t get the internship you want. Sometimes this may turn out to be in your best interest. Here are eight things you can do if you don’t land your dream internship:
- Take the next best offer you have
If you’re lucky enough to have multiple internship offers to choose from, pick the next best alternative. Pick your internship carefully based on your future goals, the company culture and on your personal preferences.
- Find part-time or freelance work
There are many companies and organizations which do not offer internships but welcome some extra help here and there. Before reaching out to companies at random, it’s better you identify your areas of professional interest and competence. Once you have done so, reach out to companies that work in a similar space directly. Look for an HR email on their website or find the right person’s email on LinkedIn and politely reacch out. Try customizing your message according to the person and organization you are reaching out to.
- Complete a micro internship
Micro internships are short daily to weekly assignments usually upto 40 hours long. These short gigs often offer a decent remuneration. Benefits of a micro internship include picking up on relevant skills, gaining real on-the-job experience and having something to show at the end of your project.
- Get a summer job
Local businesses often need short-term workers to help out. Working as a babysitter, a server in a local restaurant or a salesperson in a local organic food shop may seem to be menial, but it does help establish to future employers that you have a strong work ethic. To find a local job, you can look for a phone number or email on the local businesses’ website or just walk-in to their place of business and ask if there are any openings.
- Assist an independent professional
Professionals such as researchers need assistance with research, proof-reading, fact-checking and other tasks related to their research papers. When reaching out to a professor you may know or any other research professional make sure to elaborate on how specifically you will be able to help them.
- Work on your own project
Your own project could require the most work but also be the most fulfilling thing you do if you don’t get the internship you want. You might want to dive-deep into a topic that has been taken up in class and prepare an in-depth presentation on the same. You could also look at writing up a paper or testing a particular hypothesis and recording the results.
Volunteering for a great cause could be a great way of using your free time if you don’t land your dream internship. A lot of nonprofits don’t offer any pay, but ensure you get to work hands-on helping them do justice to their causes. You could look up nonprofits such as animal shelters, local food banks or tutoring services for the underprivileged and apply to an organization whose cause moves you. Your work at such organizations might range from spreading the word about the cause to raising funds from potential donors. Being a volunteer can be a highly fulfilling use of your time.
- Do online courses
You could join an accredited online course offered by your college or many other reputed colleges offering specialized courses to help students up-skill. You could also sign up for an open online course on platforms such as Udemy.com or Coursera.com. Improving on an existing skill or picking up a new skill is easy with the vast course options available online.
If you miss out on what you think was your best internship opportunity, don’t worry. Focus on taking up meaningful work that matches your skill and personality.