Tips for Students Looking for Post-Grad Internships
If you are looking for a post-graduate internship, the first question I have for you is WHY. And I want to make sure your WHY makes sense. Recent grads usually consider post-graduate internship programs if they haven’t had enough experience in college, if they want to explore opportunities outside of their college major, or if the industry/company they want to go into requires more training and development. If you’ve already done a ton of internships in college, I’d encourage you to look for a job after graduation – it’s probably time!
If you really feel that you do need internship experience under your belt in order to land your dream job, make sure you go into opportunities with very specific goals. Do you want to learn a specific skill? What do you want to leave that internship opportunity with? How will this internship help you leverage future opportunities?
Also, for recent grads, try to find a company with job opportunities and high turnover. An internship will never guarantee you a job (that’s what makes it an internship) but some companies have higher turnover than others. If you are an intern at a company and an entry-level employee leaves, they might open up the opportunities for the interns and if you’ve already graduated and can start ASAP (and you’re already trained and comfortable with the company), that puts you in a great spot.
If there is a specific company or industry that you want to work for and it has a special post-graduate internship program, that is an acceptable reason to look into a post-grad program. Keep in mind some of these companies call these programs leadership or rotational programs instead of paid internships. For example, the Disney College Program is a wonderful program for recent grads who want to work for Disney or get a better understanding of specific industries. Johnson & Johnson is another example of a company with a great rotational leadership program for recent grads that is designed to acquaint potential new hires with all aspects of the business. Another popular program is the NBC Universal Page Program, a rotational program designed to ultimately place entry-level talent throughout NBC.
You can also look into post-graduate fellowship opportunities which are enhancement programs often catered to recent grads. I enjoy the UC-Berkeley Career Center’s definition and resources page on fellowships if you’d like more information.
As additional resources on this topic, please check out the blog one of our former Intern Queen Ambassadors (now alumni) wrote on the subject a few years back.
Also, check out this interview I did in 2015 for US News, I talk about the reasons that recent grads look into post-graduate opportunities.