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5 Steps to Land a Summer Internship

You may be snuggling up in an over-sized cardigan and sipping eggnog when you read this, dear HC reader, but trust me- the temperature will be increasing and the trees will be returning to their usual gorgeous green hue sooner than you think! Until then, being productive during your winter break (which totally includes watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reruns, by the way) is your chance to secure a productive and fantastic summer. It’s time to apply for summer internships, and HC has 5 steps to help you land one for 2010!

Step One: Get Familiar with Your School’s Internship Policies

Every university and college out there has different rules for applying for internships. Internships are typically open to college students during summer, fall, winter, and spring. Most companies only accept applicants who can receive the internship for credit, especially if it’s unpaid, so make sure to speak with your department advisor or dean to figure this out before you go on the hunt. Your best bet is to send him or her a friendly email after the holidays inquiring. Looking for something to do when you’re stuck in the house due to the six feet of snow outside? Spend some time looking at your major department’s website or your school’s career center online; you may find internship advice you weren’t aware of! Depending on your major, you may be able to take more than one internship for credit, so look out for this so you can use this to your advantage!

Step Two: Soul-Search and Set Goals

Your major may give you the freedom to intern for all sorts of positions, and you don’t need to intern in something related to your major if you don’t want to! Really explore your interests and major to pinpoint what your aspirations are. Try to focus your concentration on a specific aspect of your field, what you like about it, and what you’re good at. Once you have an idea of what kind of internship you want to land, it’s time to research some companies. Make a list of some of your favorite businesses that you hope to intern for at some point in your career and Google them. Ask yourself: What is my dream job? What is my dream company? It is not common to land an internship at a major company your first try so stay positive and think reasonably. Most successful people have started out at smaller companies to then climb the ladder to some bigger names. Having an ultimate goal in sight will help guide you on the path to get there!

Step Three: Utilize Internship Websites

There are some incredible resources out there for finding out about internships. While you’re uploading holiday photos onto Facebook, head over to http://InternQueen.com. Lauren Berger is a nationally acclaimed resource for applying for internships. She posts openings in a plethora of industries like advertising, accounting, pre-med, fashion, and music production. You can search through her site and for a reasonable fee of $3.00 an application, Lauren will personally forward your materials. She also consistently posts advice and tips on her YouTube channel and Twitter page, so be sure to subscribe and follow those sites!

“Lauren gives the greatest advice on how to act professionally during internships. I’m in the process of applying for a marine biology internship and she’s been a great help to me so far,” said University of Rhode Island Sophomore and Marine Biology major, Nicole Leporacci. Here are some more great resources for internships:

Step Four: Create/Revise Your Résumé and Cover Letter

You’ve utilized these sites and have found a posting for an internship you are interested in applying for. Fantastic! Make sure that you meet the qualifications listed (some companies like applicants to be a junior/senior only, have prior experience, etc.). If you meet the qualifications, it’s time to apply. Pause It’s Always Sunny and devote some time to improving ‘Resume.doc’. For some great résumé advice, you can check out HC writer Cara Sprunk’s previous article! Ellen Gordon Reeves, author of Ed2010 favorite “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?” recommends having multiple résumés. For instance, I have a résumé specifically for internships that highlight my journalism experience, as well as one that focuses on employment for when I apply for part-time jobs. Personalizing your résumé shows that you care about what you’re applying for, and can pay attention to detail. Otherwise, it may just look like you’re sending out one résumé like a lame mass text. Know it by-heart, and triple check for any spelling mistakes. Your cover letter is also so important. I like to start my cover letters by drawing on some sort of personal connection to the company or internship. Format-wise, Reeves recommends you:

  • Be short but sweet- three small paragraphs. Remember, whoever reading your cover letter doesn’t have all the time in the world to sit and read it.
  • Use proper formatting- size twelve, Times New Roman font with proper margins will do.
  • Don’t ever address your letter to “To Whom It May Concern.” This is incredibly impersonal, so be sure to find someone to address it to with an accompanying address, and spell their name correctly!

TIP: Ed2010.com accepts résumés and cover letters for critiquing! Use this to your advantage; these ladies know a thing or two about hiring interns!

Step Five: Press ‘Send’

Gather your materials and attach them to an email. Prepare a short introductory sentence in the email, and press send! Cross your fingers, and be prepared for the best and the worst. Enjoy the rest of your break and good luck! Have an interesting internship search story to share? Leave a comment! Sources: http://Ed2010.com http://InternQueen.com The Hofstra University Career Center Nicole Leporacci, URI sophomore and marine biology major “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?: A Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job”, Ellen Gordon Reeves

Gennifer is the Branded Content Specialist for Her Campus Media. In her role, she manages all sponsored content across platforms including editorial, social, and newsletters. As one of HC's first-ever writers, she previously wrote about career, college life, and more as a national writer during her time at Hofstra University. She also helped launch the How She Got There section, where she interviewed inspiring women in various industries. She lives in New York City.
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