Its that time of year again. Your inbox is flooded with emails about internship opportunities and deadlines to apply by. It can be overwhelming trying to figure of which internship to pick or just trying to find one at all.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Finding the right internship
You shouldn’t just do an internship so you can add it to your resume. Yes, it helps to have one on there, but you need to make sure you feel passionate about how you are about to spend the next two to three months. The best thing to do is go to the career center or your advisor and ask what internships are available in the field you are interested in. Trust me there are more than you think. If you are thinking that because you are not a STEM major you can’t intern– you can find internships from everything from art, to archeology, to international studies. Take the time to declutter your inbox and read through some of those emails. You never know, your dream internship could be just a few scrolls away.
List of Priorities
Once you have your options, it is important to have a list of requirements for internships. Do mind if it is unpaid or are you looking to make money? Can you travel? Does it need to include housing and travel stipend? All these need to be taken into account before you even apply to the internship.
Once you have made a list of the one you want to apply to see what is required for each. If you need letters of recommendation don’t be afraid to reach out to professors, bosses, or presidents of clubs you are in. It is important to try and meet with these people in person before they write your letters so they can be as personalized as possible. Some applications require cover letters. “What is that?” some of you may ask. It is basically you explaining why your resume makes you the best applicant for the position. The Career Center at The University of Alabama will help to write and perfect your resume! All you have to do is make an appointment.
OK, so you have submitted your applications, your letter of rec have been sent, and now all you have to do is weight. Now is a good time to focus on the interview stage. Some internships may require you to do an interview as the next stage of application. Here is a list of tips to prepare.
Read through all the material about your position
Write down any question you have so you don’t forget to ask them during the interview.
Find a quiet place to have the interview (colleges often have rooms you can rent for these interviews.
Is it a phone or Skype interview (meaning do you need to dress up for it. )
How your resume, application, and any other materials in front of you so you can use them during your interview
The most important thing is to remember to be yourself. You want to be hired for the position for who you are.
Whether you get the internship or not remember to thank all the people who helped you apply. They are most likely also invest in your application process, and it shows a level of maturity on your part.
Good luck to all of you! Internships are great way to further your college experience and make connections for later on in life. Happy travels my friends!