How the Heck to Get an Internship

The school year is winding down and it is about that time to begin thinking about the summer. What are you going to do?  I’m sure your parents (and your career) will be much happier if you go hard and try to get a job, an internship or at least find some way to feel productive.

Follow these steps and you will be on your way down the yellow brick road…if not to an internship, at least to Emerald City.

1. Talk to Hiatt.

The Hiatt Career Center is one of the most valuable FREE resources we have access to on campus. Take your resume (no matter how elementary it may be) and get it destroyed by Hiatt. Don't take those red marks personally. They are just marks of how awesome your resume will be once you implement all the suggestions they make. Trust me, your resume will be gold.

Once you have perfected your resume, check out Hiatt's networking resources. These includes requests to join the Alumni LinkedIn group (a HUGE database of professional alums) and events taking place all over the country specifically for networking purposes.

Check out Hiatt's BHired site as well. This site is updated frequently with internships and entry level positions in domestic and international locations.

2. Sign up/Spruce up your LinkedIn Account.

LinkedIn has quickly become one of the most popular sites for those seeking jobs as well as those searching for employees. It seems almost everyone has a LinkedIn, even Conan O'Brien!

Think of it as the Facebook of the professional world. Just be careful how you brand yourself on this site. No duck lips and absolutely no statuses complaining about the crushing housing process. Pick a professional photo and update it as much as you update your resume (which should be a lot)!

Here is a helpful article that teaches you the ins and outs of Linkedin

Also, there are many awesome Brandeis alums on LinkedIn. They are very helpful and are generally open to meeting and giving you advice so definitely try connecting with them and even setting up an informational interview. You never know where it could lead. 

3. Check out Internship Sites.

There are thousands, probably more, sites that advertise internships. This does not mean they are great sites for you to actually begin your internship search. Avoid sites that ask for money, you don't need to pay to find a job. Try and google search any sites as well to see if they are known for scams. Below is a list of tested and approved internship sites that many college students find helpful.

Internships.com

Internmatch.com

College Monster

Additionally, you can use google as a powerful internship resource.

Google the companies you admire and email them directly with your resume and/or cover letter, even if you can't find a career page. Better yet, make a cold call directly to the office, introduce yourself and ask for any internship opportunities. Companies love this direct contact and it makes a great impression.

Craigslist is also a great option, but be suspicious of every posting. Make sure you research and verify everything you can.

4. Apply, Apply, Apply.

While it is important to have quality resumes and cover letters, put yourself out there as much as you can. Finding an internship can be hard, and there are tons of students looking for one. The more you apply, the higher the chance you get a response back.

5. Prepare yourself for an interview.

Make sure you have at least one snazzy outfit for an interview. Check out Forbe's 101 on how to dress to impress.

Next, become an expert. Learn everything you can about the company you want to intern for and the position you are applying to. Nobody wants a know-it-all but everybody wants someone who is informed and acts like that company is their number one choice.

6. Be prepared for "Unpaid/College Credit."

Many companies like to take advantage of the unpaid characterisitc of an internship. As a student, you have to be prepared that even your favorite company does not want to pay you for your work. Suck it up and think about all the great things you will learn, the networking you will gain, and the potentials to move forward into a paid position. If you have financial concerns, think about your schedule. Can you work at a restaurant nights and weekends? Maybe you will live at home? Don't be afraid of the unpaid position, but be prepared.

And there you have it, good night and good luck!