Sitting on the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian islands, Honolulu is the capital of America's 50th state. For the winter weary, this place is the stuff of dreams, with lush tropical foliage, divine beaches, and year round warm weather serving as a convenient reality for those who call this magnificent metropolis home.
With its location on the doorstep of the many islands that comprise Oceania, its relative proximity to Asia, and its tropical assets luring countless mainlanders to make this city their permanent home, Honolulu is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse citizenry.
This gives this city a third dimension that many other centers lack – in other words, there is more to this place than lounging on Waikiki Beach on your weekends off. If you are lucky enough to land an internship here, you will find an endless series of layers to this locale that will have you working yourself to the bone in a bid to turn your placement into a full-time position.
What’s Honolulu like?
Hawaii can seem like a different world altogether, as it is the only capital city in an American state that lies fully within the tropics. With one of the world's top beach scenes at your fingertips, trekking that will give you some of the most breathtaking views that you'll have the privilege of witnessing in your life (Diamond Head), and pan-Asian dining that rivals most places in the mainland United States, quality of life is one of the biggest draws for people seeking to locate here, in spite of any difficulties in securing a gig. The nightlife here is also the stuff of legends, especially during the high season, when those seeking to find a party can usually find it on practically any day of the week.
As far as practical matters go, Honolulu's transport system leaves something to be desired, as the lack of rail transit has contributed to congestion problems across the region. While a line is presently under construction, those moving here will be well taken care of by TheBus, Honolulu's award winning transit system. With lower fares elsewhere in the USA and widespread coverage on 110 routes, most will be served well by it.
There is no doubt that the tourism industry is the area's biggest earner, with airlines, hotels, restaurants and tour agencies making tonnes of cash every high season as those fleeing the cold of a Northern winter flood into the city.
Another interesting fact about Hawaii is that this state does not have a single bank branch from corporations based on the mainland. As such, the state has developed its own banking system, with First Hawaiian Bank being the biggest player in the finance sector here.
What kinds of internships are available in Honolulu?
The various moving parts of the tourism industry offer internships that will grant those looking for paradise and an in to a lucrative career an opportunity to tick both boxes in their search for positions this winter. For example, Hawaiian Airlines offers internships across all its departments, with openings for business analysts being among the spots up for grabs.
Similarly, First Hawaiian Bank is looking for those seeking to help grow the economy of Honolulu and Oahu, as they will need many loan officers, bankers, accountants and the like to deal with the flood of business expected from boomers in the coming years, as many will choose to liquidate their current homes on the mainland and relocate to the island to begin their retirement.
How to find internships in Honolulu
First, remember that you aren't the only one with the idea of seeking out an internship in paradise, so be prepared to outperform your competition in every subjective measure of your applications – carpet-bombing resumes and cover letters and praying won't work here.
Secondly, those treating this process like a working holiday is bound to fail at some point in the recruitment process, as the aforementioned companies are looking for fresh-faced young people that are ready, willing and able to take their well-established brands into the future. They are not looking for applicants that are going to mail it in every day, looking for a convenient excuse to leave early so they can go surfing on the North Shore.
By taking a business-first approach to your application efforts, you will give yourself the best possible chance of punching a one-way ticket to America's tropical paradise, so put your best foot forward and don't worry about the fun stuff – Honolulans may work hard, but when it comes to playing hard, nobody does it better than them!