We already know that in Nebraska, manufacturing offers a number of good, better-paying jobs. And we also know that there are a number of resources here in the state that can help you get started finding manufacturing jobs.
And in manufacturing, just like most other places these days, getting an internship will help you later on because you’ll have hands-on experience with a real company (not to mention the awesome networking you’ll be able to do while you’re working).
But getting an internship in manufacturing isn’t always as easy as just browsing online and waiting for someone to reply back. It often helps to have help (usually from school) so that you can get your feet on the ground much faster.
Here are the four steps that we recommend to anyone looking to get an internship in manufacturing:
- Get in touch with your counselor or career center. Whether you’re in high school or in college, you should at least have a guidance counselor–and some schools will have a career center, too. Both work regularly with local employers (or they at least know what’s going on around town), so they should be a huge help if you tell them you’re looking for an internship in manufacturing. They’ll be able to guide you along the next steps so you can get your search going.
- Talk to your teachers. Especially at a technical college, your teachers are an invaluable resource when trying to land an internship. Like your counselors, your teachers should have a decent idea what’s going on in the work world. But unlike counselors, your teachers interact with you on a (close to) daily basis, so they should be able to give you recommendations on what kinds of manufacturing jobs they think would fit your skillset.
- Research where you want to work. This is a critical step. After you’ve talked to your counselor and your teachers–so you have a better idea of what to look for–you can start looking at local companies. Someone looking for an internship in machining could be looking for an entirely different company and experience than someone looking into factory management, but the best way to get an idea of what you want is to just start looking. For some profiles of manufacturers here in Nebraska, check out our series here.
- Search job boards. We compiled a good list of job boards/resources in a previous blog post. Though as we just mentioned, diving into the job boards head first isn’t always the best way to get things done, once you’ve done the previous 3 steps, you’ll have a much better idea what to look for when searching for an internship in manufacturing. There are a lot of great companies here in Nebraska, and chances are that a lot of them would be more than willing to have you work as an intern if it means coming back and working in manufacturing later on.
Getting an internship can sometimes be complicated, but these four steps should make the entire process relatively painless. Starting out and working an internship in manufacturing is a great way to find out what works for you, and is also a good way to get your foot in the door for a career after graduation.
So get out and get going! You never know what kind of great opportunities might be ahead.