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Tips for first year college students looking for internships

An internship in your first year helps you stand out among your peers as you gain experience and a platform to learn and create which you otherwise lack in a classroom

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If you are worried about learning new skills, join a start-up as an intern and start working on multiple projects from the scratch. (Thinkstock photo)

Aarti Gandhi is a first-year engineering student who’s looking for an internship to acquire new skills and build on to her resume to help her career later on. Many of her friends and seniors had told her that first-year students don’t get internships due to the lack of technical skills and expertise. Aarti, however, doesn’t stop trying and eventually gets two internships within the first year.

By her fifth semester, she was working as a freelancer and interning with a start-up. When she graduated, she had already worked on several projects, including the website for her college and had a PPO in hand.

If you are also wondering whether any internships are available for first-year students, the answer is plenty. There are a lot of internships available in non-technical fields and slowly many students, like Aarti, are exploiting these opportunities. Many internships are also work-from-home aka virtual internships and you can intern even during your semesters and not only during the summer break. Some of the prominent areas wherein you can find internships are:

1. Sales and marketing: Did you remember the Bollywood flick Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year? If you have good communication skills and like to meet and interact with new people, a sales/marketing internship is your ticket to get a first-hand experience of the business world. It doesn’t hurt that it improves your chances of claiming the title of sponsorship head during your college fest. In addition, this is also the best way of honing your soft skills and preparing yourself if you decide to do an MBA later on.

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2. Content writing: If you are fond of books and enjoy penning down your emotions, then do apply for content writing. A lot of students who were editor of their school magazine or own a blog or a Facebook page have pursued this profession seriously. A content writing internship further provides you the chance to hone your writing skills and even get paid for it. From search engine optimisation to infographics, you learn a lot of new skills and are introduced to a diverse range of fields. Those with a flair for writing, get jobs easily in the media industry.

3. Graphic designing: Love doodling or sketching? Know a bit of photoshop? Keep comparing different logos or website designs thinking about how you could have made them better? If you are creative and have a good design sense, there are a plethora of opportunities available for you to explore a dormant passion. Graphic design is a hot career field and you might even discover a new career possibility.

4. Programming: If you have fallen in love with coding and want to live in the world of computers, then there are a number of stream for independent internships in web and mobile app development which you can apply to. You can learn and master a major skill while working in the real world environment.

5. NGO: Do you fret over the pathetic condition of our society? Do you believe in becoming a change-maker and bringing the change yourself? You can actually make it happen if you intern with an NGO. An internship with an NGO will not only help you understand the mechanism of the society but will also help in contributing for the betterment of humanity. You can work either in a shelter home or you can spend time teaching students at Government Schools; you can work with leading activists or create awareness through writings.

Read: Tips to choose a career after graduation

If you are worried about learning new skills, join a start-up as an intern and start working on multiple projects from the scratch. An internship in your first year helps you stand out among your peers as you gain experience and a platform to learn and create which you otherwise lack in a classroom. The goal-oriented work helps you grasp the basic nuances of the work environment. An internship is indeed, the perfect launch pad for your career.

The article is written by Sarvesh Agrawal, CEO, internshala.com

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