If you’re still in college like me, finding an internship that fits your major seems like a lost cause. Before my internship with Integrate, an agency based in Houston, I felt my chances of getting an internship for the summer were pretty slim. A sophomore at the time, I feared my bare resume would just end up in a throwaway pile on someone’s desk.
I think students, too often, give up on their internship searches because of this thought process. If this is you, you may want to reconsider. You would be surprised by how many companies are more than willing to give you the experience you need. I saw this when I was hired at Integrate as their public relations and social media agency intern and I continue to see this every day. So far, I’ve learned more than I thought I could learn in an entire internship, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t give up.
Because of this, I wanted to share with all you students out there looking for that “dream internship” a few tips I feel are essential to finding the right internship for you.
Research, research, research
I’ve heard a lot of people over the years complain about how hard it is to find internships and I’ve always wondered if they knew about internship job boards. Websites like internships.com and internmatch.com make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for in an internship.
It’s good to keep in mind what YOU as a potential intern want in an internship instead of just aimlessly applying for internships that may not be beneficial to the career you want in the future. I found that researching companies helped in my internship search because I was able to see the types of learning opportunities and responsibilities each company had to offer. It’s important to evaluate the companies’ expectations, so you can see if they match what you want out of an internship.
This step is essential because you don’t want to end up with an internship you won’t appreciate. The same thing goes for getting a job; you want to like where you’re working.
I know there are so many articles/blog posts etc. about how to land your “dream internship,” but in reality, I don’t think there is a formula to it. I know this sounds cliché, but – BE YOURSELF. I can’t stress this enough, because I have seen it work before my very eyes! While interviewing for internships at public relations and social media agencies, one thing that helped was answering each question like I would in a typical conversation. In my first interview with Integrate, I found that it was much easier to show what I am capable of by just being myself instead of worrying about every minute detail.
Thank the Interviewer
I know it can be easy to forget, but you MUST thank your interviewer afterward. They are taking precious time out of their days to talk with you, so please make sure they know that you appreciate them. Just look at it from their perspective; wouldn’t you appreciate receiving a thank you note? So, make this step a priority!
I know you’re anxious to know your destiny, but BE PATIENT. This process takes time, and they WILL get back with you one way or another.
I know the internship search can be overwhelming, but you can do it! Don’t let one lost internship get you down, because there are so many companies out there that are looking for candidates just like you!
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Written by Caroline Dodd