As a Career Consultant, I am regularly asked about internships and often find myself explaining how it is possible to create your own internship opportunity. In NZ structured internships are usually advertised widely and because they are linked to graduate recruitment, extremely competitive. These structured internships provide employers with a ‘tested and job ready’ pool of potential recruits.
But there are also employers who will provide ‘work experience’ to a motivated student who is keen to work in their sector and has the initiative to make a personal approach. The key here is, to do your research, to think of ways in which your present skills and experience can assist the employer and to show flexibility. Taking you on for work experience should create a win-win scenario for all concerned and not simply create extra work or stress for the employer.
At www.internships.com, a site I often recommend to those considering a US internship experience, Colleen Sabatino describes 5 steps to help you ‘Create Your Own Internship’ http://voices.washingtonpost.com/campus-overload/2010/05/create_your_own_internship.html
Internships.com also has Internship Predictor, a free test designed to help you identify your ideal internship.