Ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern for a celebrity like Charlie Sheen? One lucky person is about to find out. Charlie Sheen has attempted to recruit his newest intern by posting the opportunity on Internships.com.

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It seems that the days of finding summer internship opportunities through the school career counselor are in the past. The competition to land internships is fierce. This requires new strategies, and at times, gutsy moves. It's important for students to look at internships, both paid and unpaid, as an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace, with many internship opportunities leading to offers of full-time employment. Keep in mind that finding the right opportunity may take some time and require you to tap a few different resources. (To keep reading on this subject, see Finding Your Place In The Financial Industry.)

Online Databases
As the internet becomes an increasingly larger part of our everyday lives, there's no surprise that online databases are becoming more popular for locating internship opportunities. Internships.com has been at the forefront of this change toward locating internships online. When talking to co-founder and CEO of Internships.com, Robin Richards, he explained the need for a site such as his and what led to the creation of it.

"Internships.com is a game-changing, social recruiting site that enables every student, employer and educator to better understand and optimize internship opportunities. The site is revolutionary in its searching and matching capabilities. Employers can post opportunities for free, students can create profiles for free and the site is easy to search from both sides of the table."

There might be something to that old adage "it's not what you know, but who you know." When it comes to work, sometimes knowing the right person can lead to opportunities that you'd never find otherwise. Talking to friends, family members and other contacts that you may have made through school or even a part-time job might be able to help you locate internship opportunities that are not even advertised. Perhaps you might even have a contact that can request an internship position be created to help give you the work experience you need.

Job Placements for High School Credit
If you're still in high school, college or university, some schools offer unpaid work experience programs that will earn you credit towards your diploma or degree. Some of these positions may even turn into job offers once the placement is completed. At minimum, you'll be graduating from school with some valuable work experience that you can add to your resume. (Find out how professional resume writers can help you land a coveted career. Refer to Resume Scribes Seal The Deal.)

Gutsy Moves Can Pay Off
If you've got the guts to take a risk, there's definitely a chance that it could be worth your while. Making a list of organizations that interest you and contacting them to see if they'd consider hiring you as an intern may lead to a position. Some prospective interns have even been so bold as to go directly to the CEO of a company and request an internship. Others have taken part in guerrilla marketing campaigns to draw attention to themselves. There really is something behind that saying that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," but don't forget that you'd better be able to back up any claims that you make about your skills and qualifications, and that you should always accurately reflect yourself so that once you locate an internship opportunity that you are able to live up to what was promised.

Buy One
If you've already tried everything, or if all the hard work involved with finding an internship doesn't interest you, you could always buy one. Dream Careers locates internship opportunities for a fee - and a fairly hefty one at that. This service is currently available in only a few cities, but due to the highly competitive job market at this time, this service has been quite successful. Additionally, many of these unpaid internships include access to resume-writing assistance, employment workshops, housing and travel expenses. Many would-be interns are finding it difficult to locate internships on their own in this highly competitive employment market. Because of this, a service like Dream Careers certainly has its appeal.

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The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that searching for an internship opportunity is similar to searching for a job. It takes time, and you should always apply for more than one opportunity because you can't guarantee that every internship you apply for will end with an offer. It's important to cast a broad net, be flexible and not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. As well, try to be open to unpaid internships. Even though you won't be drawing a paycheck, you'll be gaining useful on-the-job experience that'll help to develop your career, and ultimately lead to paying positions in the not-so-distant future. (These seven tips can have you on the road to financial internship bliss. Check out Land That Internship!)

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