Internship Advice

June 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm (Uncategorized)

After going through my first “real” interviews, application process and research on potential internships this summer, I have the opportunity to intern at two businesses. For any first-timers like myself this past year, some of my advice tips on how to obtain and keep an internship could help:

1. Picking the right internships for your major is important. I specifically sought out experiences that were both “prestigious” (yet obtainable) and in areas I wanted to work in after college. An internship that isn’t in your field of interest won’t give you the experience of what your life/job could be like after college in the real world.

2. Networking is key! It’s important to build friendships and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. This is how I found out about my current internships and met individuals working at those places.

3. Start early and research places before you apply. Some internships don’t provide a due date on their website or application form – first come, first served/early bird gets the worm. Doing this also shows your dedication and enthusiasm for the internship. Plus, if you apply to a couple places this helps in choosing amongst more than one company or provides more than one internship, and if you don’t get one internship there are plenty more to choose instead of waiting until the last minute.

4. Sell yourself and advocate for yourself. This shows supervisors how much you want the internship; you have to ask for it. After I earned one of my internships, one of the Vice Presidents remarked on how I did a good job advocating for myself, so this showed me it’s a good thing to know what you’re good at and know who and how you got there.

5. Be persistent and available. Persistence shows how much you want the position. Being available shows your commitment to the position, plus you may have make errands while on the job.

6. Write hand-written thank you notes. This may not seem like a big deal, but to the person receiving the note, it means a whole lot. This can also be the defining point between you and another equally qualified applicant. Writing a hand-written thank you note is unique because not many people do this, it also shows your interest in the position and that you took the time to care about the company or supervisors. 

7. Act like this is a real job and do your best. Networking will earn you the interview, but what you’ve done and how you’ve done it will get you the internship. To keep the internship, your previous performance must show. You need to show and act like a hard-worker and be dependable.

8. Once you have the internship: listen, be humble, always say thank you and show enthusiasm for everything – even if you’re just printing a copy for another worker. This is the difference between an okay intern, and an intern that may be hired by the same company, earn a letter of recommendation for the future or have a more enjoyable learning experience.


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