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A Collegiette’s™ Guide to Landing an Internship and Making it Worthwhile

When you hear the word internship the first things that probably come to mind are meaningless errands and countless coffee runs. However, an internship is so much more than that. If you take just one piece of advice from this article, let it be this: you will only get as much out of your internship as what you put into it. Although it is only the beginning of the semester, this is the time to apply for winter or spring internships! Make sure to make the deadline!

Step 1: The search for your internship
The most crucial step in the search for your internship is meeting with an advisor or internship coordinator. Go to your advisor and find out who to speak with to gain the necessary insight about how internships work with your program. Ask for a list of possible internships in the Syracuse area. If you wish to obtain an internship in your hometown or another location, they may have the connections to help you also. If not, make those connections yourself! All it takes is one email or phone call to a prestigious corporation to get your name out there. Visit the company’s website to get yourself familiar with their brand and contacts.

Step 2: Nailing the interview
Once you’ve found an internship and set up an interview, practice practice practice! Preparing for the interview will not only make you more educated on the company, it will boost your confidence! The best way to do this is to be prepared. Compile a portfolio of whatever work you have done that is relevant to the internship. For example, if you are interviewing with a newspaper, include articles you may have written for your college paper or for a class. When in doubt about what to include in your portfolio, include it anyway. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be. And don’t forget ladies – dress for the job you want! So upgrade from yoga pants to a pencil skirt and dress to impress!

Step 3: Don’t be afraid to speak up!
Believe it or not, people do respect your opinion! This is a learning experience for you but you may have things to offer to the company that others don’t. For example, at my internship over the summer I did a great deal of work with their social media communications. Being part of the digital generation plays to our advantage! Finally, those speedy fingers and knowledge of Facebook pays off! So offer suggestions to your supervisor. They will respect your opinion and think highly of the fact that you were confident enough to share your insight.

Step 4: Network Network Network!
Once your internship ends, the real fun begins! Keep an address book of contacts and email addresses you made throughout the course of your internship. These will be highly beneficial to you in the long run. Think of it this way: everyone you meet knows someone else. Each contact you have is a potential recommendation for a job in the future. If you put in effort and good work throughout your entire internship, people at the company will notice and will be apt to recommend you to others. If they have seen firsthand that you have a good work ethic, they won’t hesitate to give someone your name somewhere down the line. Also, keep in contact with those who have guided and mentored you. By keeping in contact with them, you will keep the line of communication going and they will remember your name. Otherwise, you’re just “that girl” who interned with them once upon a time. Don’t fall between the cracks…be confident! Do not let them forget who you are and what you did at your internship.

One of the founders and Campus Correspondents of the HC Le Moyne site, Omairys Rodriguez, is off on a domestic abroad internship in Washington DC! For more information, and to see if you can find an internship that suits your future career plans, visit http://www.twc.edu/.

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