Paid internships let students and beginning professionals acquire a variety of work experiences, while providing financial support for their needs. How can candidates increase their chances of landing this type of internship?
Internships represent an effective way for new professionals to improve their skills and enter the job market. However, the majority of trainee positions (77%) do not offer a salary or scholarship, according to statistics collected during the year by the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ). There are some steps that can make it easier to obtain a paid internship, however.
Targeting your field of employment
Some areas of study are recognized as being more conducive to offering paid internships, such as administration, computer science or engineering. There are fewer opportunities in fields related to the arts, humanities and education sciences.
According to Anne-Marie Hotte, a career development student at UQAM, paid internships are mainly found “in fields with a high demand for workers and for which the internship environments have more financial resources to pay their trainees”. She advises candidates to also look to community and government circles to increase their chances of finding offers for paid internships.
Consulting online resources
Specialized jobsites or those posting jobs offered in the federal and provincial governments may offer paid internships. “Employability resources offered by universities can also be consulted. For example, UQAM has maintained a job bank for students and graduates for less than five years on which employers post job offers or paid internships,” explains Anne-Marie Hotte.
Contact those around you
Discussing your resume with your professional and academic network, and the company where you would like to begin your career, and asking for the names of employers to turn to are effective ways to discover paid internships that are not necessarily posted.
To the extent that the internship is unpaid, the trainee can ask the employer for some form of compensation, such as a bus pass or a prepaid phone plan. “Some employers may offer an allowance for the duration of the internship, but once again it depends on the environment and the company’s resources. Another way of proceeding could be to search for paid jobs that would later be credited as part of an internship,” concludes Anne-Marie Hotte.