The top 3 things to look for in a college internship

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If you’re like me, looking for an internship is a stressful experience. Just thinking about applications, interviews, and career fairs makes me feel like I’m about to break out in hives. The key to finding the right internship is to find a company that really aligns with your personality and lifestyle.

The big companies that everyone has heard of – and that have lines wrapped around hallways at career fairs – are not always your best choice. For some reason to college kids, these are the ones painted as the most prestigious places to work or as organizations that will offer the best experiences.

This is not always the case. Some smaller companies that you may have never heard of, and overlooked when sending out applications, could be the perfect fit for you. That’s why I’m giving my tips on what to look for in a company and how they led me to Hyland.

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Here are my top 3 things to look for:

  1. People

Work with people who you can connect with, but also people who love their jobs. Hyland is the No. 1 ranked workplace in northeast Ohio because its employees really love where they work.

Another key is to find a company that you want to stay at long-term. I know that for most millennials, that is extremely unrealistic. Millennials are used to change: 91 percent of them are predicted to stay at a workplace for less than three years. But choosing an internship that you can see yourself staying at after college eliminates so much of the stress you feel every time you have to apply and interview with a new company.

I’ve met so many people that have started their careers here and intend to end them here too. You can learn a lot from people like that.

  1. Culture

One of the reasons why Hyland employees are so happy is because of its one-of-a-kind culture. This is a huge part in looking for an internship.

The day I interviewed with Hyland, I knew I wanted to work here just from seeing the two slides in the building. I thought if a company has slides in its office, it must be a fun place to work. Then, within my first month of work my team went to Cedar Point and an Indians game. Along with those fun things there are the perks of fitness classes, haircuts, and so many other fun and helpful things that you can add to your workday.

As a college student, dress code is important as well. Having a casual dress code is great for a college student who doesn’t already own a lot of business professional clothing items. It is also gives the company a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Finding a company that is so invested in making you happy, even as an intern, is rare and should be one of your highest requirements.

  1. Learning experience

Interns are usually depicted as the go-to people that do all the things no one else on the team wants to do. Go for the company that genuinely wants to teach you. Hyland has taught me the importance of treating your employees like family. Being a part of a team that wants me to succeed and will help me with anything and everything is one of the best parts of my internship.

Also, you can’t ever be afraid to ask questions at your company, and you need to find a place to intern that makes you feel that way. Find a place that teaches you more than just what you are working on. My team gives me life lessons all the time, for example: Putting dishwashing liquid in a dishwasher will flood your apartment!

Hyland respects its employees as well as the community, so in the short three months I have been here, I have already completed a community service project with my fellow interns. A company that can help you connect with your peers while giving back to the community is a keeper.

Looking for an internship doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems when you know what you’re looking for in a company. Hopefully, these tips help you find your dream internship.

Aubrey Sinclair

Aubrey Sinclair began interning at Hyland on the Marketing Operations team in May 2015. She will be graduating from The Ohio State University in May 2016 with a degree in marketing. Her goal is to spread the word on campus about the great internships Hyland has to offer.

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