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Here's how internships can help further your career

Corie Miller is a writer for BUILT BY GIRLS, which prepares the next generation of female and non-binary leaders to step into their power and break into their careers. WAVE is the backbone of BUILT BY GIRLS: it’s a 1:1 matching program that connects high school and college students with top tech professionals across the country. For more information and to sign up check out

Internships can give you a leg-up with the chance to work on projects and build your professional network before you head out into the "real world."

A hands-on experience is one of the best ways to deepen your understanding of technical concepts and put what you’ve learned into practice.

So, how do you land an internship? What else can you do to help land a career in tech or another STEM field? Here are some tips.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Be open-minded

At this point in your education, you may have a sense of what careers you’d like to pursue, or you might have no idea at all.

Both are totally okay! Internships are a great way to get a taste of what different roles are like without necessarily committing to that career path. It’s also a great opportunity to see firsthand how working at a smaller start-up compares to a larger, more established company.

If you want to explore, consider applying to internships in a variety of different roles. Research smaller companies, and don’t be afraid to apply to companies you may never have heard of before. This is your chance to explore, so take advantage and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not only an important way to establish your professional history and network, it’s a fantastic internship aggregator.

Internship listings in LinkedIn will highlight anyone in your network or school who works there. This makes it easy to reach out to them and see if you can learn more about the company and role, and any tips they have for interviewing. They might even be willing to refer you.

Work on a personal project

Cavan Images via Getty Images

There are so many tutorials and resources available online to help you learn specific technical skills. You can take free coding courses at Codecademy, Khan Academy, or even free computer science courses from MIT OpenCourseWare.

Beyond learning the material, one of the best ways to put technical concepts into practice is to work on a passion project. Ever wanted to make a fun webpage with Spotify data? Well, its public API documentation has a useful tutorial you can follow to get you started. Many products and tools you already use might have a public API with tutorials that you can use to kickstart building your own applications.


WAVE is a one-of-a-kind mentorship program that is designed to support female and non-binary students as they take the first step into their careers.

Students receive personal support from a dedicated professional who will show you the career possibilities and help you develop the valuable skills needed to land your first job or internship. It’s a great way to expand your network and get a real-world glimpse of different careers.

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