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  Step 2: Sources of Internships/Co-op
Searching for an internship or co-op is very similar to searching for a scholarship, it can be a tedious process. However, an internship or co-op program can be exciting and invaluable when you are applying for jobs. The earlier you begin your internship search, the better your chances of securing one of the better or more coveted internships. You need to create a clear plan, an outline, of the resources that are available to you. Knowing what and who your resources are is key to a successful internship search.

To help you get started, review the following list of sources:
Family and Friends
Collegiate Resources
Direct Approach
Conventions / Conferences
Internships and Industry Directories

Family and Friends
Tell your family members, friends (at school and at home), and your family’s friends that you are seeking an internship or co-op program in your career field. Your family and friends are excellent resources, especially if they are employed in the industry you are pursuing as a career. They may also know of people working in your career field who may be able to help you. This is your opportunity to start networking.

Collegiate Resources
Many students do not use all the available resources at their school. Ask any and everyone about possible internships and co-op opportunities. Being persistent will pay-off. Provided below is a list of resources you should consider:
Career Center / Placement Office
Most colleges have a career center/placement office for their students. The career center provides students with information about internships, cooperative education programs, and entry-level job opportunities. Some career centers have internship coordinators to help match students to internships/co-ops according to their career interests. Inside the career center, there may be several binders with a listing of internships/co-ops, a computerized database, and/or a bulletin board with posted information for the dates of any job fairs or internship presentations that may be scheduled. Visit your school’s career center/placement office and ask the staff about various internships and co-op programs in your career field.
•  On-Campus Career Fairs.
Most colleges offer at least one on-campus career fair during the academic year. Some on-campus career fairs focuses specifically on internships and others focuses on college seniors entering the workforce upon graduation. Many organizations and companies participate in these on-campus career fairs to recruit students for internships and entry-level job positions. It is an ideal opportunity to attend at least one on-campus career fair to network with the recruiters. Information about on-campus career fairs are typically announced in your school’s newspaper, posters, flyers, and/or bulletin boards on-campus.
•  Academic Advisor and Faculty Members
Most academic departments have established agreements with various company or organization to offer internships and co-op programs to their students. These programs are typically maintained by your department’s academic advisor and faculty member(s) assisting with the programs. Contact your academic advisor, internship coordinator, or faculty member for more specific information.
•  Cultural Centers
Most colleges have cultural centers for students of various ethnic and religious backgrounds to relax and gather with their peers. If you fall within any ethnic group, visit the cultural center on-campus and inquire about any internship opportunities. Review any materials posted on the bulletin boards and in newsletters. Ask the director or receptionist, if they know of any organizations or companies that offer internships for students of your particular ethnic group within your career field.
•  Fellow Students
Ask fellow students, if they heard of any internship or co-op announcements or applied to any in the past years. Some students may be hesitant to tell you about their internship opportunities, since you may be in competition against them.

There are a few internship web sites, as well as industry specific web sites that allow users to register and search their online directories. Some web sites are free and some charge a fee. These directories typically work the same and allow users to search for a company by name, location, industry, or customized search.

If you would like to find a listing of internship web sites, type in "internships" or “cooperative education programs” on search engines or employment sites, it should yield scores of available internships but won't separate them by field.

Direct Approach
Not all companies and organizations advertise their internship or co-op opportunities and there is nothing wrong with contacting a company or organization on your own. You will be surprised as to what internships or co-ops are available. You can obtain a listing of companies by browsing industry specific directories on the internet or industry specific directories. Theses directories typically provide a profile of the company by listing their complete contact information, programs, services, and/or products offered. After browsing the directories, make a list of all the companies and organizations that you would like to work for in your industry.

Visit the company’s web site and browse the job/career section. Most companies will post information about their vacant internships, co-op, and job positions within this section on their web site. If you cannot find any information on their web site, contact the company’s human resource or personnel department. The staff should be able to inform you of any internship or co-op opportunities; or they can direct you to the appropriate person or department.

If there is a particular company you would like to work for and they don’t offer an internship, ask if they can create an internship for you. If they create an internship for you, more than likely it will be for an unpaid position. However, you will gain invaluable experience and if they like your work you may be asked to return next year or offered employment upon graduating from school.

Conventions / Conferences

Each year, there are several aviation/aerospace conventions and conferences sponsored by professional organizations and businesses. It would be in your best interest to attend one or more of these events to start networking and inquiring about internship opportunities. Visit each booth and attend as many seminars as possible, if interested. Some events will charge a fee to gain access to the exhibitor’s booths and seminars. Always introduce yourself to each company representative for it is very possible that that person may be one of the people to review your resume and/or application. If they can put a face to the name, it can only help you. Ask for a business card from each representative - they could be important contacts later on. Be sure to get a copy of the event’s program guide to contact some of the companies and organizations listed, at a later date. Trade magazines usually list the names and dates for various events in their industry.

Internship and Industry Directories
There are several directories and publications about internships at the bookstores and libraries in your city. These books are usually located in the reference section. Internship directories profile various internship and cooperative education programs offered by various companies and organizations. These directories contain complete contact information, eligibility requirements, benefits, and application deadlines. When reviewing the internship directories, make sure you review the most recent editions since guidelines, eligibility requirements, benefits, and deadlines often change, each year.

Each industry has a directory profiling various companies, associations, clubs/groups, and organizations within its industry. These directories contain complete contact information about the services, programs, and/or products offered by each company or organization. Contact some of the companies and organizations in the industry you are pursuing as a career and inquire about any internships or co-op programs offered for students.

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Step 3: How to apply


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