A good internship can steer your entire career down the right path. But don’t wait until you’ve done an internship to aim high – find the internship of your dreams and go for it!
Here are 10 steps that will help you get the internship you’ve always wanted.
If you know what you want, don’t wait – go after it! Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond – contact the people and companies that you want to work with directly. You will leave an impression, and demonstrate that you are ambitious and action-oriented.
Make your own list of companies that you would most like to work for and whose positions are relevant to what you want to do. Find contacts at these companies and get in touch. You don’t always have to approach them as a potential employee – tell them you are new to the industry, that you are really interested in their company, and ask them if they have any advice for you. If you have concrete questions for them, even better! This will put you on their radar, making you more eligible when they pick interns.
This might seem old-school, but you don’t always have to email your CV or portfolio. Print it out and mail it in, or even better – show your face and drop it off! The company might still want a digital copy, but hey – now they for sure know who you are!
No matter how you choose to send in an application to an internship, make sure to pay attention to detail. Have someone proof-read all of your documents. Make sure that your CV is well organized and easy to read. If you post your application, address the envelop neatly. No detail is too small!
Once you have applied – follow up! Pick up the phone and call a company if you are really interested in being hired by them! At the very least, send a follow up email. They won’t choose someone they don’t remember!
Tips 1-5 could help you make it to the interview stage! Once there, speak up and be confident! Show that you are knowledgeable about the company and that you are enthusiastic about the internship position. Interviews don’t have to be scary – they are your chance to shine, to show off and kindly let them know how great you are!
It is definitely expected that you know enough about the company to know why you want to intern there. So you first need to know who you are interviewing with. At the very least, do some research about the company, but also about the interviewing person if possible. Educate yourself about the work they’ve done. Now you can let them know that you admire what they stand for and what they have produced or achieved.
If you start to get offers in right away, you might want to take a day or two to respond. While every situation is different, you want to make sure that you are making the best decision for yourself. Depending on the position you are in, you might even want to let them know that you are considering other offers. Just make sure to say this in a way that does not make it seem as if you are not that interested in the position they are offering you! This is the start of your entire career, so it should not be taken too lightly.
While it’s not always comfortable, you need to learn to pick up the phone or open your email and contact people who have never heard of you before. You probably won’t get the first internship you apply for, so increase your chances by finding several companies that interest you. Every company could use a great intern (if not now, sometime soon), so position yourself to be first in line even if you don’t see an internship opportunity posted. Get yourself on their radar!
Networking will be important for your career, so start now! The more people you know in your industry, the more likely you are to know people at the company you want to work for. Use your contacts when searching for jobs. Even an acquaintance can be a good reference for you if they work at your dream company!
Use these tips and you will hopefully have an internship in no time! Remember, you get out what you put in, so make sure to put your all into finding the best internship for you out there.
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