How to Land Your Dream Internship

I recently started my hunt for internships this year, and not gonna lie, it is a lot harder than it looks! I thought it was gonna be as easy as getting a summer job―that I just needed to fill out a simple application with some basic info, attach a resume, and compete against a couple of applicants here and there.

Spoiler alert, that is not the case. The competition for internships is intense, and it takes a lot more work and time than you think it would―especially if the application requires a cover letter.

Looking back, there are definitely some things I wish I could’ve done when I was applying. But don’t fret, I’m here to give you some of my personal insider tips on everything I’ve learned since I started applying for internships.

Here are six tips you should keep in mind as you’re applying:

  1. 1. Apply now, and worry about the details later 

    I made the mistake of only going for the local internships and being completely closed off to any out-of-state ones. I kept worrying about the housing and plane fare of the internship, but keep in mind that there is a chance you might not even get the internship, so there’s really no need to stress about these details. Just apply for it now regardless of those details, and you can deal with them later if you get that internship!

  2. 2. It is never too early to start your internship search

    virtual runway show

    The earlier you start your internship search, the better! Definitely start applying for internships during the fall semester―a lot of the applications for the good internships close in December. And most importantly: don’t wait to apply for one. Make sure you apply for one as soon as you see it because the positions can fill up before the application deadline.

  3. 3. Always have a perry read over your application & use Grammarly 

    woman writing in notebook

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked back on past applications to find that I made an embarrassing grammar mistake. Always ask a friend or an advisor to look over your application before you submit it just to make sure there are no lingering grammar mistakes. You should also install the Grammarly extension to your internet browser to help you catch any additional mistakes! 

  4. 4. Apply to a TON of internships 

    Woman with laptop beside window

    At first, I only applied to a couple internships at a time because I wanted to wait and see if I was gonna hear back before applying to other ones. You will not get very far if you do this, and I learned this the hard way. The more internships you apply to, the better! I would shoot for applying to at least 10 internships. That sounds like a lot, but applying to more internships will increase your chances of getting one. 

  5. 5. Be patient and stay positive 

    "You Got This" sign with iPhone next to it

    I started losing hope for some of my internships because I was expecting to hear back within a week of my submission. But don’t forget: employers receive hundreds of applications a day, so don’t worry if you don’t hear back right away. It could take up to two months before you hear back from an employer, and that’s perfectly normal. Just wait it out, and stay positive!