Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

Navigating Your First Internship: 5 Essential Tips

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

As a college student, finding your first internship for valuable experience in your chosen career field should be a top priority. When searching for and beginning your first internship, there are several different important factors to take into consideration such as pay, relevance to your interests, networking potential, and learning opportunities. As a sophomore in college who landed their first internship this past summer, I gained valuable insights and a clearer understanding of what to expect in future job positions. Throughout this internship, I also gained a deeper understanding of the PR and Marketing field which has opened the door to another career field to explore. College students are expected to make the most of their academic journey by building a strong foundation of knowledge and experience in their career fields. Obtaining an internship during these four years is a perfect opportunity to grow your hands-on experience so that you are prepared to enter the real world. Although I had an overall positive experience, here are 5 tips I wish I had known while navigating my first internship.

Prepare for interviews by researching the company

Researching the company before you receive an interview is important because it shows your dedication and genuine interest in the position. It allows you to tailor your answers to the interview questions to the company and ask informed questions, making a positive impression on the interviewer. It also helps you understand the company’s values and culture, ensuring the company is a good fit for you.

Polish your resume and tailor it to fit the internship

It is crucial to tailor your resume to the company to highlight your most relevant skills and experience for the position, making you a stand-out candidate. A well-crafted resume increases your chance of getting noticed by the recruiter and landing the internship.

Start early and explore different options

Many internships have early application deadlines, so by starting early, you have more time to research potential positions, tailor your application materials, and submit them before the competition gets fierce. Getting a head start also allows you to explore a wider range of options and gives you more time to prepare for an interview. 

Take initiative and seek out additional tasks or projects

Taking the initiative to seek out tasks and projects is important because it demonstrates your proactiveness, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. It allows you to showcase your skills and contribute to the team, and it provides you with valuable hands-on experience.

Be proactive and ask questions to learn as much as you can

Asking as many questions as you can is important because it shows your willingness to learn and grow. It also helps you gain a deeper understanding of your tasks, responsibilities, and the overall industry. Remember, an internship is meant to educate you on what a potential career may look like for you. You should walk away from the internship feeling more knowledgeable about and prepared for a career in that industry

Hello! I’m a freshman at Grand Canyon University studying communications with an emphasis on broadcasting and news media. I love writing and traveling therefore I want to go into journalism.