An internship is a stepping stone that paves the way for further career progression. Whether you are a senior student or a graduate, you might find yourself wandering in your mind with a bunch of questions: How long are internships? When to apply for summer internships? How many internships should I apply to? 

It may be time to clear your head, plan out your internship application, and get these questions answered.

How Long Are Internships?

Internships tend to last from two to three months, with a minimum of 20 hours of working time a week. They ensure interns have enough time to experience the taste of a job and learn a thing or two about a product, a company, or gain some necessary skills.

There are also full-time internships that last for a semester, six months, or even an entire year.

Internship duration can largely depend on how long the school breaks are, as students might only have time to take an internship during these periods.

All in all, it’s also subject to your availability and what internships you would like to take on.

How Many Internships Should I Apply to? Here’s the guide to land your internship
Applying for an internship

Source: Scholarship positions

When To Apply For Internships?

The best time to apply for an internship
When to apply for internships?

Source: Capital Placement

As a general rule of thumb, you should choose to apply for an internship as early as 3-6 months before the internship period commence. It is to make sure you have enough time to work on your application, brush up on your skills, define what suits you most, and secure the best internship that you desire.

If you want to enroll for fall internships, try to send your applications around June or July. If it’s a spring internship, start to apply in October or November.

When to apply for summer internships?

Summer is the time when many students look for hands-on experience as an intern, so you may start looking in November of the previous year.

In case you have a list of your favorite companies, try to list down their deadlines and update yourself with their recruitment period.

How To Apply For An Internship?

Job boards like Indeed, internsjob.com are the most common platforms to find internships. Just access the sites, enter the keywords and locations, you will find a wide range of the current openings from many companies.

Another place to look for internships is Linkedin. It has also been a popular platform where employers can post jobs and search for ideal candidates.

It is also where you showcase your skills, relevant knowledge, and experience. You can improve your presence online by highlighting your achievements, certificates and attracting recruiters’ attention by keying in, for example, “Looking for an internship in… industry”. 

Apply strategically
Applying for internships

Source: Any.do

Alternatively, you can contact the career services office where you are studying to get help from the career support staff. Many companies are partnering with universities to look for young talents so actively engage with the career services, you might find something interesting.

Lastly, what to watch out for when seeking an internship is networking. You would never know that someone you met at an event can introduce you to the great job opportunities you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere online.

Reference has always been a tactic to approach recruiters and the staff working in the companies you are targeting. If you get a good recommendation from an employee within the company you are applying for, you will increase your credibility and thus, a higher chance of getting hired.

How Many Internships Should I Apply To?

There are no metrics to gauge how many internships you should apply for at a time. However, one piece of advice is to try to apply for as many internships as possible until you get the desired job.

Before that, it might be wise to narrow down to 2-3 types of jobs that you want to pursue and then work on your documents first.

Prepare application to apply for internship
Filling out an application form

Source: Find an internship

Then, classify the open positions you aim to apply into two categories. 

Group those with the same job nature so that you can send out many applications all at once without having to edit them two much. That said, remember to mention the company name, the hiring manager’s name, or the job title correctly.

You don’t want to present yourself in an unprofessional way, do you? You can mass email, but remember quality over quantity.

For those jobs with specific requirements, and need to be carefully tailored, such as internships at leading companies, allocate your time to work on them. The more challenging it is, the more rewarding.

To sum up and respond to the question “How many internships should I apply to?” you need to reflect on yourself, define the positions you want, and organize your job list. There is no limitation to the numbers of applications, as long as you know what you want and present yourself as best as you can.

Some students might have to send 100 applications just to get invited to 10 – 15 interviews and earn 1-2 offers in the end. It is a long process, and it also varies for each person. If you don’t get called, look back on your applications and make sure you have related your qualifications to the requirements.

Final Words

Job search is increasingly demanding at the moment with the surge of Covid-19 cases in many countries. It may be not the problem of “How many internships should apply to” but “How can I improve myself and become more competitive during this uncertain time.” 

Instead of wondering about the number of applications you should send, turn the attention to working on your skills, and showing a positive attitude. Internships can bring valuable working experience and ideally help you to land a full-time job. Hence, once you get hired, keep on learning and upgrading yourself.

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By Sophie

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