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6 Things to Look for in Your Internship

Tyler L. Hough, MS

Securing an internship is one thing, but landing one that gears you up for the job market and propels your career forward is another. At the Chicago Center, our partnerships with top-notch internship sites ensure that you're not just working — you're growing, learning, and aligning with your career aspirations. So, how can you discern the best internship for you?


1. Align With Career Goals

Treat your internship as a sneak peek into your potential future. Ensure it reflects the responsibilities and tasks you anticipate in your dream job. This hands-on experience paves the way for your journey post-graduation.

Questions to ask:

  • Can you describe a typical day for an intern in this position?

  • How has this internship program evolved over the years?


2. Skill Development:

An internship should be a learning powerhouse. It's the platform where you sharpen both your technical and soft skills. Whether you're getting familiar with a new software, fine-tuning your project management prowess, or enhancing your communication, the best internships have it all.

Questions to ask:

  • What does onboarding look like for this position?

  • Can you provide examples of projects previous interns have tackled?


3. Organization Reputation:

The name of your internship organization becomes a part of your professional identity. Opt for organizations recognized for their commitment to offering interns meaningful and enriching experiences.

Questions to ask:

  • How do you ensure a quality experience for your interns?

  • What do previous interns typically say about their time here?


4. Company Culture:

Your ideal workspace aligns with your values and promotes growth. Dive into internships that match your vibe and emphasize diversity, inclusivity, and a positive atmosphere.

Questions to ask:

  • How would you describe the culture here?

  • What initiatives does the company uphold for diversity and inclusion?


5. Opportunity for Employment:

An internship can be your gateway to a permanent position. Explore the company's track record in transitioning interns to full-fledged employees.

Questions to ask:

  • Have many interns transitioned to full-time roles here?

  • Can you provide specific examples of such transitions?


6. Feedback:

An internship is a crucial milestone in your professional journey. But without the right feedback, you could be left navigating in the dark. Constructive insights can be the compass you need to shine brighter. Regular evaluations keep you informed and ready to adapt.

Questions to ask:

  • How often will I receive feedback on my tasks?

  • Is there an established process for performance assessments?


Choosing the right internship is a pivotal step in your career. It's not merely about gaining experience; it's about enrichment, growth, and aligning with your long-term goals. By keeping these pointers in mind, you're not only setting the stage for a rewarding internship but also for a vibrant career that follows. 

Learn more about the Urban Internship Program.

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