Most majors at BYU-I require their students to do an internship before they can graduate. Internships are a great opportunity for you to learn more about your desired career and gain the necessary experience before entering the workforce.
What are they?
An internship is a position in a company that is designated to students in order for those students to gain experience in that field of work. Internships are often required to receive degrees or certificates.
Why is it important?
An internship can help you explore different career paths and figure out what you really want to do. It might help you decide that you really like the career that you have been working towards or help you to change directions and make a different choice.
Jobs always ask for your work experience when they are looking to hire you. An internship can provide a semester of relevant work experience that you can add to your resumé. This can set you apart from other students and recent graduates. It also helps you better understand what you will be doing after you graduate and give you more extensive knowledge than you might gain from reading a textbook. You gain real world experience.
Doing an internship helps you network with professionals in your desired career. These people likely have more knowledge and experience, making them great mentors. The connections you make when you work an internship is also a great start to your future job search. Internships provide you with a great network so that you have more options for a career when you graduate.
When do I need to do my internship?
BYU-I does not specify an exact time that you need to do an internship but they do have some resources to help you plan it out. You will need to complete it between the time that you start your degree and the time you graduate. Check out BYU-I Internships on their website.
Doing an internship within the first two years is a great option if you are uncertain about your major and the career you are going into. This will give you time to change your major if you decide it is not what you want. It can also be good to do a smaller internship to gain experience at the beginning of your college education so that by the time you are finishing up your classes, you have the experience needed to get the internship that you really want. You definitely can do more than one internship if you want to.
If you do an internship in your final year of college, then the odds of you getting hired by that company after you graduate are greater. This can be great if you already know what it is that you want to do for a career. This can also be a better option for networking and getting a job right out of school.
How do I get one?
It is recommended that you start your search for an internship about a year before you would like to do yours. Some companies may not post them that far in advance though. This gives you time to explore your options and find ones that you are interested in, submit applications, get an offer, and get the internship approved.
When looking for an internship, it is important to network. Reach out to professionals in your field. Do some personal interviews about their jobs. Stay in contact with them throughout your education and keep an eye out for openings that they have. This gets your name out there and makes it possible for businesses to contact you if they have something that may be fitting for you.
Send in applications, resumés, and cover letters. Make sure to follow up. When you get an interview (and you may have several) practice for them. Don’t go to an interview without practicing and talking through interview questions. Remember that not every interview will be perfect and you might not be perfect for every job. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get offered the first internship you apply for. There are plenty more. Keep applying for internships and practicing your interviewing skills.