How to Find an Internship in the United States?
The United States is well known for welcoming international students and workers from all over the world. In 2018-2019, the Institute for International Education reported that the United States welcomed an all-time high of 1,095,299 international students. With the increasing demand and competition for internships in the United States, you may be wondering how to find and secure an internship of your own? There is an invisible competition coming from three sources: local American Students, local foreign students enrolled at a college or university, and well-skilled in students located outside the U.S. from across the world looking for an internship. This article will show you three ways to find an internship despite this competition.
1. Use your personal connections.
When it comes to finding a job or internship, your personal and professional relationships are the most important and useful tools that you can use. If you know someone who is working at a company that you are interested in, then you have a huge advantage. No matter where you are applying to, companies prefer to hire someone they know.
Your personal connections can get your resume reviewed by the Human Resources department and the directors of specific departments that you are applying at. A simple recommendation by a person who knows you to a hiring manager can greatly increase your chances of obtaining the internship that you desire.
Using your personal relationships and networks is the best way to finding an internship in the USA. Once you have found your internship, then all you need is a J1-visa.
2. Search and apply for an internship yourself.
The second method is an obvious one. You can search for available internships independent of personal connections and submit your application (aka cold search). There are many different online tools which you can use to find the right internship such as Indeed, Google Jobs, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and even Facebook. However, if you submit your application using the same search engines, tools, and PDF-Resumes as everyone else, your chances of getting hired are less likely.
While on the surface, searching for an internship by yourself may seem simple, the reality is that it requires a good amount of research and skills. You need to make sure that your resume looks professional and meets the requirements of the position you are applying for. More importantly, your interview skills must also be strong so that you make a lasting impression on employers. All of these factors can make it difficult to get hired for an internship.
3. Hire a placement agency to find an internship for you.
If options 1 and 2 do not work for you, then there is option 3.
It’s always a good idea to work with experts in an unfamiliar field to ensure that you reach your goal of securing a good internship that is directly related to your field of study. So, why not hire an internship placement service if it pays off exactly they way you want?
At a first glance, hiring a placement agency may seem expensive for students, and may not have been considered as an option by you, either. But in reality, the fee which you pay for an international exchange service is just 12-14% of the overall budget that you would need for your internship in the United States.
This relatively small amount can make your overall goal of interning in the USA actually happen!
Trusted organizations which specialize in exchange programs have good connections and solid partnerships with host companies in the USA.
With their vast network, they can provide you with great opportunities to gain experience in the best cities in the United States.
A good placement service will provide you with a personal placement coordinator who takes the time to help you define your goals and create a plan to make your goals achievable. Your coordinator will also assist you in creating a strong resume that attracts employers. Furthermore, you will also conduct practice interviews with your placement coordinator and receive feedback on how to sharpen your interview skills.
Overall, it is important to understand that a placement service is highly customized for each individual. One person’s experience does not guarantee that it will be the same for you. It ultimately depends on your qualifications, your skills, and the industry in which you are interested in.
If you are having difficulties finding an internship, then perhaps this third option can highly benefit you. A placement service can help you identify what is holding you back and work with you to secure the right internship.
There are 3 ways of finding an internship in the United States. You can a) use your personal connections, b) apply for internships by yourself, or c) hire a placement agency to find one for you. Finding the right internship takes a good amount of time, research, and skills.
With the increasing competition and demand for internships, using personal connections is the best way to secure an internship in the USA. If you don’t have anyone to help you, then you can always ‘cold-apply’ for an internship by yourself. However, be prepared that many other interns use the same search engines and online tools as everyone else, and therefore your chances of getting hired are less likely.
If you are having too much trouble finding an internship in the USA (or simply don’t have the time), then signing up with a placement agency to find an internship for you is a great option. Good placement agencies have many close relationships with American host companies which you can benefit from, and they will help you develop a strong resume and interview skills. Paying them just 12-14% of your overall budget that you need to live in the United States can turn your goal of interning in the United States from a dream to reality.