Supercharge Your Career with an Internship

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Published: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

Did you know the iSchool maintains an Internship Database? It does! There are virtual and on-site positions, as well as both paid and unpaid internships. You can search by city, organization type, keyword, and more; you also can save listings that intrigue you. The opportunities in the database have all be vetted by the school, so you can be confident that:

  1. It’s a real learning opportunity – you won’t be serving coffee or doing busywork.
  2. The organization hosting the internship has put some time and effort into creating the position – so they are investing in you.
  3. You can earn course credit toward your degree by completing one of these internships. 

The database contains a wide variety of opportunities for both MLIS and MARA students. Here are the 10 most recently listed:

1. University of California, San Francisco Publishing and Open Access Project Assistant. 2. University of California, Los Angeles Law Library Research Assistant Program Intern. 3. Alameda County Library Children's Services Intern. 4. Utah State Archives and Records Service Archivist II Intern 5. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Riverside, CA Archival Processing Intern. 6. Hillsboro Public Library, Digital Services Internship. 7. Braille Institute Library Services, Braille Insititute Library Intern. 8. California State University, Bakersfield Academic Library Intern. 9. Mountain View Public Library Youth Services Intern. 10. University of California, San Diego UC San Diego Library General Library Internship.

They are a really intriguing mix of titles and institutions!

Internships can be particularly helpful if you are embarking on a new career path or just don’t have a lot of professional experience on your resume. Besides getting a few credits closer to your degree, by completing an internship you can expand your professional network, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience.

Furthermore, internships are a great way to test out a career direction or audition an employer in a short-term setting. Not sure if public libraries, archives, or a tech company is for you? Find out during an internship; if not, when it’s over, you can part ways with no hard feelings. It’s much harder to disentangle yourself from a job!

On the other hand, if you have your eye on a particular institution, getting your foot in the door as an intern can improve your chances when a regular spot opens up. Of course, if you’re a great intern, the hiring manager will hear about it and take it into consideration when she makes her decision. However, you also will have a better understanding of the culture, internal lingo, and department personalities, all of which will make you more comfortable and more confident during your interview.

There’s still some time to set up a summer internship, and there’s definitely enough time to coordinate for the fall semester. The iSchool internship site has all the information you need (including a recorded orientation); the Internship Listings Database has a large selection to choose from, or you can set up your own.

Have you done an internship? Was it a valuable experience? (I have; so far, so good!) I’d love to hear about yours in the comments!

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