03/15/2011 03:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How to Use Spring Break to Find an Internship

During spring break college students everywhere flock to big cities, warm temperatures, or their couch at home. While all of these options are fun and relaxing, there are many different ways to take advantage of your vacation. Spring break may only be about a week long, but it is prime time for gaining experience and building your career.

In an article for Her Campus, Ngozi Ekeledo shares tips and advice on how you can productively use your spring break to find an internship.

If you're like me, you've probably sent your resume in to dozens of businesses or companies in search of the perfect summer internship. Every time you see an unrecognized number on your call log, you pray that it's one of these golden internship coordinators calling to offer you the perfect summer gig. What better gift to get you through these last blasts of winter cold as you head into spring break mode?

But my Her Campus ladies, don't be so hasty to write off those seven days free of class. Packing up and heading to Miami or MTV Spring Break are great options, but getting a crash course in a company's daily ins and outs can also give you a (less tan) leg up. Many businesses, companies and schools offer spring break internship opportunities that you can take advantage of, and they're often less competitive to land than summer internships. For those of you with less glamorous spring break plans (catching up on Dexter episodes--fun, but not exactly productive), here's what you can do over spring break to help you career-build and get you more experience.

What's the point of a spring break internship or externship?

Caitlin Crotty, an advisor for Medill Career Services at Northwestern University, believes that networking is the key benefit of a shorter internship.

"It's hard to work on something meaningful in that short time span, but internships and externships are a wonderful way to meet some professionals in a target organization or industry," she said.

"Networking is so important when you're looking for an internship or full-time job, because many positions aren't ever posted online; it sounds cliché, but who you know is almost as important as what you know. An internship or job shadowing program is a low-pressure way to learn about a career path and to get advice from people who are doing what you'd like to do."

Are we talking about business or what?
For all you business savvy girls, companies like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs often offer spring break internships for a week during the month of March. The cool thing about these programs? The top spring break interns usually have a chance to receive an offer for a summer internship position!

Goldman Sachs is offering an investment management spring internship program in New York from March 14-18, and the program is open to college sophomores. Unfortunately, the application date to apply has already passed, but for HC underclassmen, this is definitely an option to look at for next spring break!

Can I shadow you for a day?

Some universities set up externship programs with alumni in which current students can follow these workers for a day at their jobs. Northwestern University's NEXT externship program is a great example. Students register through the alumni association website and have the chance to follow someone in the field of their choice. Some popular choices for students include business, communications and law. For instance, in the field of journalism, students have the chance to shadow a worker at The New York Times or NBC to learn more about these media powerhouses. The program also features participants in all parts of the United States. Not sure if your school has something similar? Call your university's career services office and check to see if they have an organized program like this. If not, ask if they have a way that you can contact alumni in your area.

Read the rest of this article from Her