How I Secured an Internship at a Fortune 500 Company

So, you want to get an internship, right? I mean who doesn’t? It seems like half the stress of college is figuring out how to get that real-world experience that we all talk about but don’t have yet. It’s always good to get your foot in the door and figure out what you like so when it comes time for real careers (scary, I know) you have a better idea of what you’re looking for.

My internship search started early, and I have to credit my success partly to that. It is extremely helpful to start making connections and reaching out as early as possible. It gives you an edge and puts you ahead of the game. I’ve always been the type to get antsy if I start thinking about a goal and don’t work on it right away. I landed this internship for the summer by early January and was finished the interview process in late November. There is no bad time to start looking!

If you do happen to find spring semester coming to a close and you still haven’t had any luck, don’t lose hope. Sometimes, it’s all about taking a chance. I would recommend perfecting your cover letter and resume (keep both to one page maximum) and having them easy to edit so you can apply to as many jobs as you want. I used Adobe Acrobat to simply adjust the headings where I addressed the companies, switched up some details, and it was good to go!

Keep track of all the internships you apply for. I found mine on Indeed, Glassdoor, and BU Handshake. All of these sites allow you to make an account and favorite jobs to apply for. I cannot stress how important it is that you do this to stay organized! Once you have applied to them, keep a list. There’s nothing worse than hearing back from a company that you don’t even remember applying for.

For interviews, bring a copy of your resume and dress comfortably. Look professional, but don’t wear something that you’ll be thinking about the whole time. Bring a nice-looking bag with you, not your North Face backpack with all the pins attached to the outside. If you’re unsure how formal the dress is at the company you are interviewing with, it’s never wrong to dresser nicer. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. It shows you’re putting effort into it and you care about the position! Arrive early so you can find the building and where you need to go to be interviewed. During the interview, it’s most important to share specific experiences related to why you want the position and have a conversation. Smile and be excited to get to know this person. Take the time to ask them why they do what they do. You may find you have something in common with them!

Always, always, always send a thank you email after the interview. Even if you were not contacted directly by the interviewer, reach out and find a way to get their contact info. It will show that you appreciated their time and valued the conversation. After that, it’s a waiting game. This is probably the worst part, but if you’re lucky and worked hard, you just might get some pretty sweet news back. Upon getting my Marketing Internship at a Fortune 500 company this summer, I had a lot of firsts. It was my first time interviewing at companies that had thousands of employees and stood in high-rise buildings downtown. It was a whole new experience, and I’m extremely grateful for the chance to hone in on those communication skills. I had to check into fancy lobbies and get guest passes which lead me to equally as fancy elevators. Half the time I was just shocked that a girl from the small town was standing on the 20th + floors of shiny buildings looking out at the whole city and talking about my future. I think the best part of it was how the internship I eventually earned was all me. I found the position myself, I took a chance any applied, and I worked so hard to show that I was the best candidate for the job. No one else can take credit for that. It helps that the interview introduced me to a whole bunch of girl bosses who do amazing things here in Boston.

This will be my first internship, and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope my experience can give you advice to help with this stressful process!

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