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Preparing for your first internship opportunity can be daunting when it comes to stepping your foot into career opportunities. Unfortunately, since we are in the midst of a pandemic, most internships and interviews have been moved to a virtual format. 

Over the past several months, I had the opportunity to participate in my first online internship and attend many Zoom interviews. By doing so, I have developed a few helpful tips to help prepare for a first-time internship to make it not so terrifying. 

Prepare for the Interview

Preparation is KEY when it comes to an interview in any format, especially when it’s your first time. Based on the specific internship position you applied for, you may be asked questions based on that specific field. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing internship, individuals in the meeting may ask questions such as:

  1. How has your academic experience prepared you for this internship?

  2. Discuss your experiences with marketing and social media.

  3. How do you prioritize numerous projects at the same time?

Along with position-specific questions, you’ll most likely be asked general interview questions about yourself and previous experiences. 

Based on the interviews I have attended, I 100% recommend finding a close friend to help you review interview questions and answers. This will help reduce stress related to the interview and impress your potential employer. 

Related: 6 Tips From a PR Pro on Tackling a Phone or Video Interview

Know What You’re Signing Up For

When it comes to finding the perfect internship to start off with, you’ll most likely look at the brief job description that gives a basic overview of the company and their internship. Although this does give insight into what the position may entail, it’s also important to research the company to make sure it’s legit and see what other employees thought about working for the company- nobody wants to be scammed.

Additionally, come up with questions to ask during the interview that dive deeper into the position. This will allow you to get a better feel of what the company expects while also impressing those in the interview!

Form Connections

No matter the format of your internship, make sure you have the opportunity to connect with your peers you work alongside. Nobody wants to have a boring internship where you just complete work individually, especially when you need help.

I also recommend creating a Linkedin to connect with coworkers and other professionals. Since I created a Linkedin, many companies have reached out to me with internship and interview opportunities. Basically, networking and connections can open a door of opportunities for your future career. 

Related: LinkedIn 101: Creating a Strong Professional Brand

Create a Set Schedule

Once you begin an internship, work can pile up easily and fast when balancing your academic and social life. To overcome this battle, I recommend creating a schedule to help balance all aspects of your life to ensure there is enough time to complete your assignments while also focussing on yourself. 

Get Ready to be Proactive

Although internships can be stressful and overwhelming at times when first starting, they provide so many opportunities for us to connect with other professionals and gain real-life experience. Overall, make the most out of the position and try your best as the experience you gain can impact your next opportunities!

Kaylee Jeffries

George Mason University '23

Kaylee is a sophomore at George Mason University where she studies communications, public relations, and journalism. She enjoys writing, editing, and managing social media to reach audiences through various platforms. In her down time, you'd find her at Dunkin' Donuts grabbing an iced coffee with friends and family, watching Parks and Rec, and writing content to express herself.
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