Five Things You Need to Know About Applying for Internships

If you’re a sophomore or junior this year, chances are you’re applying for internships or fellowships right now. For me, this is one of the most stressful processes I’ve ever gone through. Essentially, I need the experience to apply for jobs after I graduate and the summer internship that I get is the cornerstone of what future employers will look at to see if I’m qualified. Through my endless hours of research on what internships to apply for and how to go through the process, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for the process. Here’s what you need to know about the internship application process!

1. Look for positions that interest you.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but don’t settle on your internships. For example, I’m applying for internships with BuzzFeed, Vice and CNN this summer. All three outlets are ones that I frequent for political news, pop culture updates and just overall entertainment. They all have super competitive internship programs that are available for application online, meaning that a lot of people apply for the positions. That being said, I am also applying to a few internships locally that interest me. Don’t limit yourself to one or the other, apply for as many internships as you can. 

2. Apply for A LOT of positions. 

When I was looking for my first job, my mom drove me up and down the main road in our town and I handed my resume out to 20 or 30 places. The same thing goes for internships - apply for as many as you can, because you’d rather be turning down opportunities than not have any at all because you limited your applications. 

3. Have someone look over your resume and cover letter. 

Before you apply, make sure someone takes a look at your resume or cover letter. Here at FSU, you can head over to the career center and have someone help you through the process of creating a resume and cover letter for each specific application, because yes, they should change a little bit for each application. Each position is different, so the skills you present in your resume should be different too! 

4. Get organized. 

A lot of applications have a deadline for specific information and a timeline on when you’ll hear back from them. WRITE ALL OF THESE DATES DOWN. You’ll save yourself a lot of anxiety later if you write down the dates ahead of time. That way, you know when things are due, you won’t get caught procrastinating until the very last minute and you can have a deadline for when to hear back from the company you’re applying with! 

5. Don’t be afraid to follow up! 

Sometimes, companies won’t tell you ahead of time when they will make their decision or you just get really antsy and want to know how the process is going after you turn in your application. That’s totally fine. Don’t be afraid to reach out to their hiring or recruitment team to touch base and ask some questions. Sometimes, you may even have to reach out to someone who isn’t in charge of hiring or recruitment just to get a foot in the door. I still haven’t heard back from Buzzfeed yet, but I reached out to their Senior Investigative Reporter, who I met last year, to see if he could get me in contact with anyone. Just remember, the worst someone can say is no or that they don’t know anything! 

All images courtesy of Tumblr.

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