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How to Start the Internship Search

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

Delving into the world of internships can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. It may seem like there are no opportunities for you, or there’s no chance you’d be able to land the kind of gig you want. But don’t stress about it. There’s still plenty of time left to find the perfect internship match for you, and no matter what kind of internship you are looking for, these three pieces of advice should help you get started.

1. Figure out what you want.

You should know what kind of commitment you are willing to make before you start applying. This means considering whether you are looking for a full or part-time position, whether or not you are able to work without pay and whether or not you are eligible to receive college credit. Knowing your own needs will help you eliminate options that aren’t suitable for you. It will also allow you to explain to potential employers what you are looking to gain by applying to their internship positions, and consequently help tailor the experience to you.

2. Look into your school’s resources.

Lots of institutions keep an updated list of internship opportunities for their students. If your school has such a resource, your work is already half done. You should also look into internship fairs either at your school or nearby. Though intimidating, internship fairs are a great way to meet local employers.  If you make a good impression on a company you are interested in, it might boost your chances of getting accepted should you choose to apply. If not, it’s still a good opportunity to work on your networking skills.

3. Talk to your peers.

Ask around and see what internships other people have done. If you know a person well enough, they might even be able to put in a good word if you are trying to get an internship they have previously held. They can also give you a run-down of what the experience would actually be like. You can also ask friends to look over your resume or cover letter to make sure everything is in order.

If you have already done all of these things, you are probably ready to start applying. Don’t be afraid to apply for some of the best internships out there; even if you don’t get them, there’s no harm done. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by rejection. Remember that not getting an internship doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. You will eventually find something that is perfect for you. Best of luck!

Melissa Close is from Waterford, Connecticut. She is majoring in Writing, Literature & Publishing at Emerson College.
Emerson contributor