While I was in college, I completed both of my internships during the fall semester. Sure, I could have gone the traditional summer internship route, but I had a summer job I loved and didn’t want to give that up. So instead, I balanced school and internships by making use of my fall semester to gain some extra experience.
Granted, not every semester’s workload will allow you to devote 20 hours a week to another commitment. It’s important to realistically look at your schedule to see if you’ll have enough time to devote to an internship. But if you can fit it in, there are some definite benefits to interning during the fall semester:
Completing an internship while you’re in courses for that same field has significant crossover. Knowledge from coursework can help you with intern work and vice versa. It can enable you to think about your coursework from a different perspective, and internship coordinators will love seeing your work improve with the added knowledge gained from your classwork.
Interning while you’re a full-time student shows great initiative to future employers. Taking classes, being involved on campus and completing an internship takes a lot of dedication. It shows you know how to multitask and prioritize. You can handle a large workload, and you’ll be able to prove that in future interviews.
Sidestep applicant crowds
If you’ve never had an internship before, diving into the market during the summer when a majority of your peers are looking can be daunting. Fortunately, fall internships usually have fewer applicants, which may increase your likelihood of landing one. If you’re just starting out and are looking for your first internship, try doing it during these months instead. I changed my major to public relations my junior year, which meant I was really behind my peers who already had experience under their belts. Fall internships were a great way for me to get my foot in the door, and since most people overlook them, I wasn’t competing against as many applicants. Fall internships are just as rigorous as summer internships, so you’ll gain some great experience–but you’ll sidestep the crowds.
Open up your schedule
Gaining your experience in the fall means your summers are open for other things. Maybe you also have a summer job you love, and you don’t want to have to give it up to complete an internship. Maybe you want to study abroad in the summer and won’t even be in the country to do an internship. Whatever the case, thinking outside of the box when scheduling internships can open your college years up to lots of other experiences. Employers like well-rounded candidates!
Experience amazing projects
From a work perspective, fall interns have the added bonus of working on holiday campaigns. Depending on the company you work for, this could give you the opportunity to help lead a project or develop a campaign. Putting “developed and executed holiday media outreach campaign” on your resume is seriously impressive for an intern! Since I interned in the fall, I was able to help develop a social media holiday campaign for the company I worked with. They let me help formulate the campaign and objectives, and I took the lead on executing the social media and blog posts, which gave me say in the full extent of the project. I wouldn’t have had an opportunity like that if I hadn’t been interning during the fall semester.
Have I convinced you? Now’s the time to start looking! Most companies are looking for their fall interns right now – including BIGfish: check out our fall PR and copywriting internship listings. Happy hunting!