There are so many more tempting alternatives to working in an internship over the summer. You could be backpacking through another continent or partying on the beach. You could be earning more money as a nanny, or hanging on to your childhood as a camp counselor. But if you've clicked on this story, you know that those probably aren't the smartest, most responsible ways to spend the summer months as you look toward building a future career.
While there's no guarantee that you'll be offered a sweet job immediately after completing an internship, it's a pretty reliable way to get there eventually. For one, you'll be building up a résumé with more than just retail and babysitting jobs. You'll also be meeting people in the industry you've set your sights on, and those will become part of the network that you'll need to find work later.
"The biggest issue with applying for a job on a job board is that there are hundreds of other people also applying for those same jobs," career coach Elana Konstant tells Refinery29, reminding everyone why networking is the key to everything.
Another benefit of internships no one talks about: This is a great way to determine if the career you think you want is really right for you. Maybe you actually wind up hating it. Or you might discover that there's a specific path within that industry that you want to pursue.
So how do you go about landing the summer internship that will launch your future? You could park yourself in front of the computer and apply to every opening you find. Or you could work a little smarter. Here's how: