Project Management Internships | Thinkful

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Good project management is the business world’s secret superpower. It helps companies to stay ahead, cut costs, avoid failures, and deliver outstanding business results.

As organizations across all sectors recognize the benefits of strong project management, more and more processes are becoming “projectized”. Good execution of projects is imperative for business success.  If you’re a process-oriented and highly organized individual, then project management may be your calling. If you believe you have what it takes to become successful in this field, an internship can give you a great leg up on your journey. This  article looks at the benefits of undertaking a project management  internship, and how to land one of these  positions. But first, let’s take a closer look at what project management in the current market involves.  

What Is Project Management?

Project management is a process that involves utilizing designated resources to accomplish a task, duty, or activity. Project management matters because with so much competition and globalization, companies are seeking ways to stay ahead. For most of them, it begins with project management.  Adhering to the principles of project management helps organizations to remain productive, achieve their goals, and stay ahead. All successful projects have one thing in common, and that is a good project manager. They’re the ones who oversee the successful completion of projects. Skilled project managers continue to be in great demand. It’s estimated that by 2027, 87.7 million professionals will be needed in project management-oriented roles worldwide. Industries like finance, construction, healthcare, information services, insurance, and oil and gas will witness the strongest demand for project management positions.    

Why Consider an Internship in Project Management?  

An internship allows you to observe real time projects in action. You’ll work with senior project managers and you may even be assigned a separate project of your own that you’ll be responsible for. You’ll learn about project budgets, estimation, project timelines, reporting, scheduling, and risk management plans involved in project management.  You’ll also learn about the development of efficient workflows.  

You’ll witness how project managers define project goals and direct them. In the right opportunity, you’ll gain good leadership and organization skills.  Building business skills will be an added bonus, which you’ll achieve through your everyday interactions with management and IT department members.  

Ultimately, an internship will teach you about business processes, collaboration, prioritization, and professional conduct, which are hard to come by in a classroom.  Most importantly, you’ll develop a professional network and gain valuable connections.  Your internship could even turn into a permanent position if you can prove yourself to the right people.

Duties of a Project Management Intern  

As an intern, you’ll be assigned many duties, which need to be carried out efficiently if you want to impress your employers and gain valuable experience. These duties could include:

  • Assist senior project managers in overseeing schedules and milestone management.
  • Obtain weekly project status from all team members.  
  • Learn and use project management software.  
  • Implement and improve the project management mechanisms.
  • Prepare and assist in project documentation.  
  • Document resource needs and availability.
  • Organize and schedule team meetings.
  • Identify project scope, risks, constraints, dependencies, assumptions, and deadlines.  
  • Keep track of the project costs.
  • Provide consistent updates on the project to all stakeholders.
  • Monitor project progress and help in adjustments.
  • Measure the project performance to suggest areas of improvement.

How to Land a Project Management Internship

If you’re interested in landing a project management internship, you’ll need to ensure you have the right kind of education and skills. Companies usually prefer candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, computer science, management, design, communication, or other related fields. They look for candidates who have organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills. They’ll also select those with excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Get online: Try building a profile on popular job search websites and start searching for intern jobs. There are plenty of job sites like Career Builder, Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and SimplyHired that post internship opportunities daily. Create an alert so that you’re notified when they appear and can apply quickly.

Build a strong resume: There’s no point searching for internships if you don’t have a resume ready to send.  Draft a resume that emphasizes your educational qualifications and  skills. Read the job description of the internships posted on websites  and create a resume tailored specifically to those requirements. Use a professional template if possible. Your resume should be clear, concise, and error free.

Write an exceptional cover letter: Many candidates overlook this part, but a cover letter is equally important. Draft a compelling cover letter—again tailored to the specific listing—indicating why the company should consider you. Mention the skills and traits that make you a good fit. Don’t use a generic cover letter—it’s essential to customize it to suit the requirements of each company.

Complete a course or certification: You have a wide range of courses and certifications to choose from when it comes to project management. One that stands out is the PMP certification from Project Management Institute (PMI). This is considered the gold standard among project management certifications. It covers the A to Z of the field and is quite rigorous.

Prepare yourself for an internship interview: Search for the frequently asked questions and prepare their answers. Learn all you can about the company, its vision, mission, and goals. Rehears your responses to interview questions so that they flow naturally during the real thing. Convey your enthusiasm and eagerness for the role by asking thoughtful questions.

Companies Offering Internships in Project Management

Many companies offer internships in project management. Some of the top companies taking on project management interns include:

Cvent: This company offers paid internships to students with the aim of developing talent and offering mentorship and experience. Their internship allows individuals to learn  about the inner workings of a software company. During this stint, they’ll collaborate with the project manager and project management staff. They seek candidates possessing strong analytical and problem-solving skills, who are also passionate about technology and project management.  

Cigna: This internship offers candidates a chance to work on impactful projects. As part of their internship program, they conduct several activities like executive speaker series, career development workshops, and volunteering events. You’ll have the opportunity to develop professional connections with employees who will train you for a permanent role.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise: They offer a promising internship where you will focus on analyzing projects, understanding content, and prioritization. You’ll have the chance to learn from subject matter experts and work with business teams. Through this internship, you’ll learn hands-on project management and develop leadership skills.

Tesla: This company believes in developing emerging talent. Their internship program promises to help you grow professionally and personally. You get to learn from the best in the industry and be mentored through significant projects by managers, senior professionals, and the project management team. As a project management intern, you’ll participate in meetings, collaborate with cross functional teams, identify the root cause of failures, track project milestones and ensure proper project closure.

eBay: This firm seeks collaborative and self-directed candidates for their internship program. You’ll be assigned to key projects and will gain hands-on experience in project management. You’ll also learn about change management, product management, and business/process analysis.

Siemens: This company offers internship programs to undergrad students pursuing degrees in computer science, information systems, business management, business administration, and other related fields. Their internship offers knowledge in project management methodologies, software development process, business analytics, quality assurance, and change management. As an intern, your responsibilities will include assisting the project manager in managing schedules, documentation, and project deliverable. You’ll also have a hand in identifying risks, constraints, issues, and dependencies.  

Discover More about A Career in Project Management

There’s never been a better time to make a career move into project management. And it can all begin with an internship. Landing  an internship is by no means a walk in the park, but by following the  steps outlined in this article, you’ll hopefully be that much closer to  your dream role.   If you found this article useful, check out our blog to read more on this topic. If you’re ready to seriously ramp up your project management expertise, don’t forget to check out our Online Technical Project Management course. It’s one of the fastest ways into this career track and offers round the clock dedicated support.  

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