Students should try to find paid internships during their course of study. Almost, all universities have career services that can help them find suitable openings. Internships are a great way to get yourself introduced to real world experiences. Not only do they pay well, but lend a great opportunity to find a permanent job upon graduation. Some disciplines like Computer Science have departments partnering with the industry. Talk to your department’s administrators to figure out who they partner with. Plan early based on the needs of companies and apply for positions. The real world experience that you gain will boost your confidence, fill your wallets and bolster your resume.
CPT would help you work, not just during summer but also during regular semesters as an intern. Most departments apply from 3 to 6 credit hours towards your degree requirements when you work as an intern. This is an amazing WIN WIN situation. You are not only working towards your Master’s degree requirements but at the same time gaining valuable real world experience. All this is being done while you make real money. Please understand that many internships pay more than what students make while holding an assistantship. While of this seems fantastic, you must be waiting for the word BUT, and here it comes. Though internships offer all these wonderful things, they can be very hard to come by. Applying and not hearing from these companies can be a lengthy and frustrating process.
Students have tried to search for an internship opportunity across the US with an intention to relocate. This might increase your chances. Another thing students could do is to use their social networks. Most of them have friends, family, acquaintances working in the industry. Try to make connections with them, learn from them and try to find out insider information on opportunities available within their companies. References do go a long way. The best thing about this is you would know exactly what you are signing up for. No matter whether you are successful in finding one or not, it is great experience that includes preparing resumes, dressing up, attending interviews etc that will prepare you for your future job hunt.