Probably the last thing you want to do after graduating is to sign upfor an internship. But this can often be a very smart move.
Some clean energy companies hire graduates into internship roles with the understanding that the internship can lead to a permanent offer. While a certain old man with orange hair has ruined the term “Apprentice,” some internships act as valuable apprenticeships. You’re basically hired to prove yourself as a precondition to getting a permanent offer. You should consider this seriously if (1) you did not land a great internship prior to graduation, or (2) even if you did, this is your only chance to get into renewable energy. You might even consider pitching this idea to a company that you’re passionate about even if they’re only looking for a summer intern.
For your internship to be successful, however, you need to do your homework and make sure that the internship truly has long term growth potential. Companies often have roles where they just use people for a few months (e.g., cold calling sales) and then reload with the next hire. That’s not what you want. When interviewing, ask for specific examples of people presently with the company who started as interns. Ascertain the specific performance criteria that you must meet to be hired full-time.
The take-away point here is to remember that an internship might be a good post-graduation option. It’s a little counter-intuitive, kind of like, “your nearest exit may be behind you” but something that can be incredibly valuable in anticipation of your next career move.