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Part-time and Internship Search

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If you’re considering a career outside of academia—or even if you just want to develop some new skills—an internship is a great way to gain relevant experience, make new connections, and get exposed to perspectives from outside the Ivory Tower.

  • Experience:  If you want to move into a new field, gaining experience in that field can seem daunting. Internships are usually structured to provide an introduction to a field and an employer, allowing you to see if you like the work and giving you experience to point to when looking for a job.
  • Skills: An internship is a great opportunity to build skills to complement or enhance those you’ve developed through your studies. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate that the skills you’ve developed in graduate school can transfer to a non-academic setting.
  • Network:  As a result of an internship, you’ll meet new people and expand your professional network, which could be the key to securing the job of your dreams down the line.
  • Get Hired!  Many companies and organizations use internships essentially as long-term interviews. If you work hard and perform well during your internship, you’ll be able to point to these successes when applying for a job, and the company will see you as the ideal candidate: after all, you’ve already proven you can do the job!

Tip:  Be sure to take advantage of the many Job Trek opportunities that the Office of Career Strategy offers over spring break!  They can give you a terrific look at a new career path, open up networking opportunities, and provide hands-on experience.

How to Get/Create an Internship

The first, and most difficult, part of any job search is deciding where you want to work and what you want to do. If you’ve been in academia for the last few years, this might seem like a daunting task. Spend some time brain storming, thinking not only about what you’d like to do, but where you’d like to live. These resources help you explore the myriad of alternative career paths that may be open to you.

Also think about what skills you’ve developed during your studies and how you could apply these to non-academic jobs. These are called “transferable skills” and you’ll be surprised by how many you possess: teaching undergraduates is proof that you’re a strong communicator and a capable leader, while completing a dissertation or research project is evidence of persistence and analytical abilities.

Many large organizations and companies offer regular summer internships designed for students—you might be familiar with these from undergraduate. Once you identify where you’d like to like, check to see if the organization has an internship program.

Leverage Your Network

Once you’ve identified where you want to apply, ask yourself if you know anyone who works there. Family, friends, past colleagues and classmates, even friends of friends or friends of colleagues—this is your network, and it’s potentially your most powerful tool for getting the job or internship you want. LinkedIn is a great resource for building your network and streamlining your research. Not only will it allow you to connect with new people you meet, summarizing their skills and experiences, it will also allow you to reconnect with people you may have lost touch with: you never know, your best friend from third-grade social studies might be working for your dream employer right now!

Another great resource, available only to Yale students, is the Yale Career Network. Made up of Yale alumni who have expressed an interest in networking with current Yale students, it’s a great way to explore career interests and learn from people already doing what you want to do.

Informational Interview

Once you have narrowed your focus to a list of firms or organizations in your chosen field, informational interviews are a great way of learning more about the field. An informational interview is just that: an interview whose main purpose is to gather first-hand information. You may also receive useful, candid advice about the field or the application process at a specific organization that you’d never find in a book or on a website.

Even though are you not technically being evaluated as a job applicant during an informational interview, you should take it just as seriously as you would take a normal interview: asking thoughtful questions which demonstrate the research you’ve already done into the field and organization while presenting yourself as a professional and friendly potential colleague can earn you an ally at the organization and open doors for you.

Informational Interviews Steps and Tricks
Sample Request for an Informational Interview

Make Your Own Internship

There are companies that do not participate in a formal internship program or publicize their offerings. However, this does not mean they are unwilling to consider an intern. With research, time and effort, you can develop an opportunity tailored to your career goals.

Create an Internship
Creating Internships Out of Thin Air (The Wall Street Journal)
Developing Your Own Internship (University of California-Berkeley Career Center)

Organizations Offering Part-Time Opportunities

While finding an internship while in graduate school may seem daunting, take heart in knowing that there are employers out there already looking for YOU! Below is a sample of standing graduate student internship programs in exciting fields.

FAQ:  Part-Time Opportunities at Yale

FAQ:  Part-Time Opportunities Outside of Yale

 

 

 

 

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