If you’re like most students, the internship search has brought you down at one point or another. Searching for the perfect opportunity can cause stress, frustration, and anxiety. Whether you’re currently on the search for an internship, or you’re about to start, I’ve got you covered. Here’s four tips to land the internship that fits your needs.
STEP 1: Know What You’re Looking For
Before any internship search, you need to have an idea of what you want. Create a list of skills that you’d like to learn, places you’d like to intern, and all around goals you want to achieve at an internship. This list should be important to you and make sure that you use this when you begin your internship search. I did this when starting my search, it helped me to stick to companies and positions that I knew I was actually interested in. My list helped me stay on track and not settle for and unwanted internship. My personal search list included terms like: advertising intern, PR intern, and social media.
STEP 2: Perfect Your Resume
Think about it like this: a resume is basically your key to opening the door into an internship. This is the first impression that a possible internship will have about you. Make it count, create a resume that you can be confident about. Most universities offer resume building workshops or writing centers. These are great resources, so don’t take them for granted. Put together a resume draft and bring it in for review; it’s that easy. Once you’ve created your perfect resume, you’re ready to start the search.
STEP 3: Start Early
A key factor for an internship application process is to start early. Start earlier than you expect; the better companies usually try to nail down their interns early. Apply to a few internships that fit your wants and needs, then continue searching and find more that you’re interested in. I typically look for my internships or jobs through Indeed or LinkedIn. These two sites offer a large range of internships with fairly detailed descriptions. They’re a good place to start looking. Once you find a few that you’re interested in, move along to the website of the employer and do some more research. After a while, you’ll nail down an interview or two. In addition your anxiety will be at an all-time low because you’re on top of things.
STEP 4: Prepare for Your Interview
Once you’ve landed an interview, make sure that you prepare properly. Research the company that you’re interviewing with, and make sure you know facts about them. You will come off as informed and you’ll be more confident in your answers because you know your facts. Another tip is to dress professionally to impress your interviewer. This is your first in-person impression, don’t mess it up. Another tip is to be confident in your skills, your whole college career has prepared you for this moment. You know what you’re doing, so portray that to the interviewer. Lastly, follow up the interview with a thank-you note. If you follow all of these tips, you’ll leave the interviewer with a positive impression of you.
STEP 5: Keep Your Options Open or Secure the Internship
If you’re still interested in keeping your possible internship options open, don’t hesitate to continue your search. The likelihood of finding your dream internship on the first try is slim. Keep applying, and don’t give up. You must persevere to find something that fits you. On the other hand, if you secure an offer from a possible internship, make sure to review your experience. If you’re satisfied with your experience and you enjoy the atmosphere of the company, accept it. Congrats!
Searching for an internship can seem like a daunting task, but my best advice is to start early. Starting early ensures that you’ll have plenty of time, and it’ll reduce your stress. If you follow these steps I have no doubt that you’ll find you perfect internship. Good luck!
Lauren is finishing up her final semester at Grand Valley majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a Spanish minor. This year she is serving GrandPR as the Client Communications Director. In addition to GrandPR, she is working at Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club as an Advertising Intern. She is an active member of PRSSA and Advertising Club. In her free time, Lauren enjoys going to the beach, exploring downtown Grand Rapids, and spending time with her family and friends.