How do I Find a Counseling Internship?

In a competitive economy, the best thing counseling students can do for their future careers is to find a rewarding counseling internship in order to gain experience in the field. The question that many students have, however, is quite simple: What is the best way to find a counseling internship that will help to enhance job experience, bolster a resume and make the post-gradation job search easier? Though it can seem daunting at first, the reality is that there are several helpful resources to consult that can make an internship easier to find. Considering many of today’s best counseling programs require at least one internship in order to graduate, it’s important to learn about these resources and pursue a qualified internship as early as possible.

A University Career or Internship Office

Universities don’t generally require counseling students to seek an internship without guiding them toward one that the university knows of, approves of, and thinks will combine classroom theory with practical experience. Most of today’s best universities maintain career and internship counseling offices that will look at students’ transcripts, interests, and concentrations, and find something at a partner organization or local office. The internship will often be coordinated within a given semester, so that the student can fit the work in among their classes and other obligations. This should be the first place to look for an internship, since universities have the best connections with local employers for this requirement.

Professional Organizations Serving the Counseling Profession

While colleges and universities are often the first place to look for great internships, they’re not the only resource available to today’s students. Another great option to consider is a professional organization that might have special connections to certain schools, counseling offices, and student-professional organizations on campus. The American Counseling Association is a great place to start, since it’s one of the oldest and largest organizations serving the counseling profession. Students may also want to look into more local counseling organizations, since these would be more focused on the local area, local students, and unique partnerships between students and local offices.

On-Campus Networking Events

Outside of a college career counseling office, today’s students can often find themselves a rewarding internship simply by attending professional networking events on-campus. These events bring together a predetermined list of employers who are typically looking for entry-level applicants and interns alike. Students can do a “rapid-fire” interview with each employer that interests them, handing over resumes and business cards in the process. Much like a job fair, networking events allow students to present themselves professionally to the local counseling community which bodes well not only for internships but also for long-term career prospects.

Online Sources

Online internship databases are an asset to today’s students, and they offer a great way to look for internships close to school, close to home, or in any community where a student might want to gain valuable work experience. These internships often have to be approved by a student’s advisor before they can count for academic credit, but that’s a relatively small hurdle to jump when an internship is a graduation requirement.

Four Great Ways to Land the Ideal Internship

Counseling students in search of the perfect internship have several great resources to consult that will help them realize this important goal. In order to find the best counseling internship, be sure to peruse on-campus offices and resources, professional organizations, and online databases to get an idea of the best opportunities available.