Internships – Gaining Real-World Experience

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Art school is a whole new environment of insight and inspiration to feed your artistic dreams. There, you will learn techniques that will get you on the road to your career.

Internships are a great way to practice what schools teach in a real-world environment.

More than likely, you will learn skills you never even knew you needed while working at an internship. And it’s those skills that make us better professionals down the road. Employers know that. So, choosing an internship that’s a right fit for you and your career goals is important.

With the types of internships as varied as the jobs in the workforce, there are a few important things you’ll want to keep in mind when finding and applying for an internship.

  1. Internships Are All Around You
    You might be surprised at how many companies offer internships. Whether you want to work at a gallery or assist an art director, graphic designer, video director, etc., there’s an internship for that. The trick is choosing the one that’s right for you.
    First, spend a good amount of time considering what type of career you’d like to have. Then, talk to your school about leads they might have and do a Google search for positions that match your career choice. More options is better. If you have a specific company in mind that you’d like to eventually work for, talk to someone there. If they don’t currently offer an internship, that doesn’t mean they won’t consider the idea.
    Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one internship.
  2. Timing Is Everything
    Most internships are about the length of a school semester. It’s important to time an internship when you can invest some hard work and dedication. It is your chance to impress potential employers.
    First, you must decide if you will do an internship while you are still completing your degree or after graduation.
    If you complete one during school, you can choose between a summer, fall or spring internship. Be sure to choose a light load of classes. And remember that you can often get school credit for an internship.
  3. Money Matters
    Money could be an important component when making decisions about an internship. There are both paid and unpaid internships available. The paid internships often receive many applications and are filled quickly. So, if you are relying on the extra income that an internship might bring, be sure to apply early.
  4. Location Is A Factor
    There are many benefits to finding an internship at a convenient location. First, transportation costs money. A close workplace can keep those costs down. Second, a short commute helps you get in and out of work quickly, leaving time for studies if you are taking an internship during a semester. On a similar note, being close makes it easier to be available when your supervisor needs you. Employers appreciate extra effort.
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Alexia Lang holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Lang has worked in newspapers, magazines, radio and blogs, producing award-winning content centered around community and the arts.

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