Planning for Internships: The right internship strategy for the year

Planning for Internships: The right internship strategy for the year

Internships lead to experience and skills, provided you begin with the right internship strategy. And that happens by answering these questions.

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Asking yourself these questions is the way to a good internship strategy. (Shutterstock)
Asking yourself these questions is the way to a good internship strategy. (Shutterstock)

Emphasized enough, Internships are undoubtedly a great way to experience and skills, and an excellent means to make yourself a strong candidate for future jobs. Internships are usually of 3-6 months of duration, depending on how many vacations or internship offs you get from your institution. Many companies also offer part-time internships, which demand around 2-4 working hours per day and can even be managed from home. You can start looking for internships at any time of the year, but when you have a specific time period in mind, apply beforehand so that you can start immediately as the vacations start off. And to make sure that you are optimally utilizing your time around the year, you need to have the right internship strategy.

Here’s a rough blueprint on how you can decide on that:

Are you free to take up internships?

The very first step would be to ask this question to yourself and map out the months in a particular year when you would be free to take up full-time internships. That would mostly count in winter and summer internships but if you get longer leaves in other months, that will also do.

Map out the time of the year when there would be less academic burden and you can take up part-time internships opportunities located nearby.

Other than that, you can also set your timetable in a way that it leaves you with a couple of hours to continue with your ‘work from home’ internships throughout the year. Of course, you can skip the exam months by specially requesting to the employer. At the end of this, your internship calendar should be ready.

When can you take up internships?

No that your timetable is ready, you should know when to apply for these internships. For long internships, especially summer and winter internships, you should start applying as early as two months prior to the joining date you plan.

Most of the companies hiring interns start their application process early, for instance; most companies start their application process during March for summer internships and around October for winter internships when we are talking about internships in India. If you want to work during winters, start applying by late October – November.

While applying for part-time internships (in office), apply only to companies that are near to your academic institution so that you can manage the time efficiently without losing all your energies and efforts in travelling.

How many internships can you do?

At the end of the day, it’s not the number of internships that matter but the quality of skills and knowledge you developed from them. So don’t rush in and exhaust yourself doing multiple internships at a time. You also have your studies to focus on and too many things at once will just create a ruckus. Your schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate your studies as priority.

Moreover, an internship a year is enough if you do it from the very first year, but if you are nearing your graduation with not much in your resume, you can consider a couple of them a year.

Important note: Creating a Balance

You will likely experience stress and will be overwhelmed at times, but that’s fine as long as it’s not taking a toll on your physical and mental health. You will get every ounce of it back in the form of a  better future.

To overcome the stress, you can tune into your priorities. Make a list of everything you do in a week. Don’t overwork in the race of piling up work experience. Your entire year must be a productive one and your calendar should be balanced so as to not overexert you.

If you liked this piece on planning for internships, you may also want to read the following pieces:

Planning for Internships: Different internship seasons you can aim for

Planning for Internships: Searching for internships through the year

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