Professional Tips To Land Your Dream Internship

It’s November, a.k.a. the peak season to submit internship applications and prepare for upcoming interviews. Here, I’m going to share some tips for sourcing internships, crafting a good cover letter, and nailing your interviews, shared by a recruiter who has had experiences at multiple prestigious banks such as JP Morgan and William Blair, as well as successful analysts who are currently working at Credit Suisse.

 

How to Source Internships

1. Don’t stop at your resume

A polished resume is a great start to get you past the first round, but don’t stop there. Find out who the recruiters are on LinkedIn and send them personal notes. Keep networking to express interest and stand out from the overwhelming number of people in the applicant pool. One important element is demonstrating how you would fit in with the company culture and that you’d love to work with them in the long term.  

 

2. Research

It really is all about the preparation. Once you’ve submitted your resume, start doing research about the company and be prepared for an interview if the opportunity presents itself. “What is the company’s value?” and “How would you add value to them?” are key questions to think about.

An interviewer shared that in the past, she has witnessed candidates who are very qualified but then realized the applicants’ vision did not align with the company’s vision, so she ended up not hiring them.

 

3. Network

Leverage everything that you can. It’s about consistency, and if you don’t hear back in a week, send a follow-up. You could always kindly ask people to point you in a direction (asking for more connection).

 

4. Know your competition

What are your strengths? Knowing your competition gives you an insight in terms of what your weaknesses might be. From there, you can combat those weak points with your strengths and skills.

 

Tips to Craft a Good Cover Letter

1. Address to the right person

Many of you might just direct it as “To whom it may concern.” Nope, to stand out and show some basic respect, put in a bit more effort, and find out who the recruiter officer might be. In the worst case scenario, simply direct your cover letter to “Recruiting Partner.”

 

2. Make it interesting and showcase your personality

The cover letter is a great place to do your elevated personal pitch, but try to avoid reiterating what you already stated in the resume. Tailor the cover letter to reflect your personality, and how you and your skills would complement the company. It is also crucially important to stress how you would see yourself thrive in this firm.

 

3. Draw a connection to the company

Be specific, and definitely avoid sending out the same cover letter to different companies. You could draft an outline for the same industry, but edit each one to gear towards each firm. Include  things like “what makes the company unique to you.” Have you been to networking events where you interacted with some company representatives? Drop some names to show that you have been engaged with the company.

 

4. Conciseness is key

I can’t remember how many times recruiters have stressed this. Good cover letters always get to the point immediately and the lengthy ones are always a turn-off. 6-7 short paragraphs are a good length, and if you find that it fits the context, don’t be afraid to use bullet points.

To sum it up, make sure you deliver these messages— who you are, how you see yourself in their organization, how your skills complement the company and be concise!

 

How to Kill Your Interview

1. Be prepared

Stalk the interviewer if you know who that could be. Know what kind of person you are going to be dealing with and try to draw connections to that person. Take the extra step and ask about the interviewer’s day. While you should aim to be professional, show your personality and make it personal, too.

For business students, those case studies that you’ve worked on in classes would be great materials to prepare for technical questions. As for behavioral questions, simply search them up online and prepare talking points for yourself.

Prior to the interview, you have to know what you are really good at and apply that throughout the interview. For example, if you play sports and have practice every day, highlight having a strong discipline as one of your strengths.

P.S. If I haven’t mentioned it already, knowing your resume in and out is a default!

 

2. Don’t panic (Cool, Calm, Collected By Kaina Lisibach '21)

In a case where the interviewer asks a very tough question, don’t panic. Most often than not, they will ask you questions that they don’t even have a standard answer for. Instead of mumbling and trying to make up something, just pause and collect your thoughts together. Break down the problem and convey your thought process really clearly. The 3Cs are “Cool, Calm, Collected!”

 

3. Follow-up

Always send an email to express your appreciation to them for taking the time to interview you!