Summer Internships for College Students

Table of Contents:

  • Why Summer Internships Are Important for College Students
  • Best Type of Summer Internships for College Students
  • How to Find Summer Internship Opportunities

Why Summer Internships Are Important for College Students

Summer break is not only a perfect opportunity for college students to have fun and catch up on sleep, but also a time to invest in something that can kick-start their career after graduation. That something is summer internships — here’s why they’re important:

Work Experience

There are two types of work experiences a summer internship provides — the tangible achievements you can put on your resume and the intangible lessons you learn from the internship opportunities themselves. Let us explain.

Every company you apply to for a job will want to see your resume — a document that lists your accomplishments in each particular role and the time you spent working to make those accomplishments happen. You want to make sure you don’t just have enough of them to fill a page, but also be able to select those most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Remember that most employers want to see not just the things you’ve done, but the difference they’ve made and the goals they helped achieve.

The intangible lessons, on the other hand, are all the things you learn along the way that can’t necessarily be tied to particular numbers and figures. Following a regular work schedule, knowing how to collaborate with people from other backgrounds, understanding office etiquette and employee policies — all these elements that a summer internship teaches will play a big role in your professional career.

Career Prospects

Summer internships are designed to give you a better idea about who you want to be professionally. Since hopping from job to job after graduation is not only stressful but can also give you a bad reputation for being an unreliable employee, it’s best to research your career prospects penalty-free during your college years. Summer internship opportunities are designed to last only a few months, which is just enough time for you to determine if you like a particular job enough to make it your full-time gig.  

Summer internship program is also a great opportunity to get a foot in the door at a particular company, as well as for that company to see if you would make a good hire. Remember that they’re prospecting you just as much as you’re prospecting them, so always strive to do your best.

Professional Connections

Speaking with current employees is often one of the best ways to make the most of your summer internship program by getting a better insight into the company culture and seeing if you would be a good fit.

Once you start a summer internship, it’s easy to just hang out with your fellow interns and forget that there are other people working at the company too. While your manager might introduce you to some of them in the beginning, it’s in your best interest to reach out to them personally (beyond a simple LinkedIn request). Invite them to grab a coffee or a casual lunch to learn more about their role and the organization in general. This way you’ll make professional connections that can continue after your summer internship is over and even potentially help you in your career search down the road.

As you see, summer internships for college students come with multiple benefits that go well beyond simply making some extra cash (although that’s a big perk of paid internships too). Keep them in mind as you look for the right opportunity to enhance your college experience.

Best Type of Summer Internships for College Students

To find summer internships, especially paid internships, you need to put in some time and effort. The application process can be time-consuming, requiring you to polish your resume, fill out an application, provide references and write essays. This can easily take your focus away from other important parts of college experience, like academics, campus involvement and social life. To ensure that the summer internship is not only worth your time and effort but will also let you make a real impact, you should go for the best — a B2B opportunity.

Why B2B?

Unlike B2C (business-to-consumer), where the target market consists of individual consumers, B2B (business-to-business) is a type of business model where a company markets its products and services to another company.

Think of B2B as a marathon and B2C as a sprint. That’s not to say that B2C requires less preparation than B2B — it’s simply a different kind of preparation. In B2B you market to people who are often marketers and sales professionals themselves, so you have to be particularly good at negotiating and explaining why you and your product are worth their attention.

During B2B undergraduate internships, you get to learn the ins and outs of the industry, understand its terminology and find ways to apply your knowledge to make a difference. In return, you get not only something notable to put on your resume but a real-world expertise that you can use to impress your future employers.

At the end of the day, B2B summer internships for college students are a worthy investment that can boost your chances of getting that dream job or another great summer internship opportunity.

How to Find Summer Internship Opportunities

When it’s time to apply for summer internship opportunities, where do you begin? To avoid wasting your time pursuing jobs that require a ton of experience, search specifically for summer internships for college students. Since you probably already spend a lot of time online, a good place to start are websites like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor.

There you can learn more about specific companies and positions they’re offering, as well as check for available paid internships for college students, if you want to earn not just experience but also some cash. Be sure to check those companies’ websites as well, since not everything gets posted online all the time.

For example, Be Your Own Boss currently offers paid summer internships that contain a perfect mix of B2B experience — competitive enough to stand out on your resume and still realistically accessible to most students, no matter their major or level of experience.

Now if you’re looking for an innovative way to approach your internship search, try hashtags on Twitter. Everyone loves hashtags, so many companies are using them to better connect with business internships seekers like yourself. Try searching for something related to internship opportunities, like #internship and #collegeprogram to see what’s out there.

Remember to not overlook a company just because you’ve never heard of it or because it’s not as prominent as others. New and up-and-coming initiatives can provide you with even more impactful B2B experience because of their hands-on approach. Plus, you never know where it’ll take you (Apple was started out of Steve Jobs’ garage), so keep an open mind as you go for your dream summer internship.