10 Tips to Land Your Dream Internship
Looking to land that perfect internship? Her Campus has the tips you need to make your search for that enviable internship as stress-free and as successful as possible. We talked to Career Service’s Mary Beth Barnes, Senior Assistant Director and Liaison to the College of Arts of Science, to help us lay out these 10 best tips to help you find your dream internship:
1. Make an online portfolio or blog
“I think it’s always a great idea to have that supplemental blog or website,” says Barnes.
If you’re looking for a career that deviates from the norm, creating an online portfolio to showcase your work and experience can set you apart from other people fighting for the same internship. Even if you have a hobby that is unique—such as photography, climbing, writing, etc.—a blog will show that you’ve taken the initiative and time to market yourself.
2. Shape your resume to your advantage
Your resume will not be exactly the same for every company you sent it to. Tailor your resume to highlight your experiences and strengths that relate to the specific company you apply for.
“If there’s a specific class—or you had to do a project—put that on your resume,” Barnes says. “Thinking about all those experiences or learning experiences in the classroom can be talked about in your resume.”
Barnes stresses this approach for underclassmen or less experienced students who don’t have as much real-world experience or emersion in their field.
3. Inside Cleveland… and other great cities
Inside Cleveland is a five-day workshop from Jan. 11 through Jan. 15 that introduces Miami students to alumni and careers in the Cleveland metro area. But Cleveland is not the only “Inside” program for students. The website for Miami’s Global Initiatives Office lists several programs, such as Inside Hollywood, that offer similar opportunities. Some, like Inside Washington and Literary London, include an internship with the program.
“All the ‘Inside’ programs give you that access,” says Barnes. “You get to go out there and meet and network with alumni, visit different industries, establish contacts… and follow up afterwards for potential job opportunities.”
4. Talk to your advisor and professors
“Miami is really dedicated to providing students with these experiential learning,” says Barnes.
Not only can you schedule meetings with advisors like Barnes at Career Services, but meeting with your academic advisor or your favorite professor can aid in your internship search as well. Professors can offer a great link to successful alumnus in your own field, and most departments have an alumni page where you can research the most successful alumnus from your major.
5. That scary word: network
“You do have to step outside your comfort zone a little bit, and it gets easier when you’re going to events,” says Barnes. “We encourage students to be active and reach out to their network.”
Career Service’s networking panels offered every semester are great opportunities for students to meet Miami Alumnus and connect with them.
6. Women’s networking event
Come to the Shriver Heritage room on Nov. 3 to meet Miami alumnae from a variety of majors and careers. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. you can chat with a diverse group of Miami women who have found success in their careers and are eager to join your network as potential future employers.
And as an extra bonus, refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
7. References on LinkedIn
Barnes encourages you to include references on your LinkedIn profile—these are short paragraphs or sentences that your previous employers and professors can include on your own profile to highlight your accomplishments and strengths. Barnes says that these little references offer that extra credibility to show companies how great you really are.
Also important on LinkedIn is the summary paragraph at the top of your profile.
“This tells employers who you are, your past work experiences, what your goals are, and your passions,” says Barnes.
8. Sign up for a mock interview
Career Services offers mock interviews for students of all majors. They are free, easy to schedule on Career Services’ website, and offer a great opportunity to shake out those butterflies in your stomach before you go into your interview. Interviewers will video record your interview for you to keep and evaluate yourself afterward, and they will fill out a rubric to show you where your strengths are and where you can improve.
9. Research your company
Before you go into an interview, you must do your homework.
“Interviewing is a two-way street,” says Barnes. “As much as they are interviewing you, you are also asking them questions to see if the company is the right fit for you.”
Prepare questions for your potential employer that you can ask at the end of your interview. Employers will be impressed if you know their company’s mission, values, overall performance, history, and trends in the marketplace. Likewise, they may also be disappointed if you don’t know much about their company.
10. Didn’t work out? Don’t stress.
While many of you may believe that you need an internship before graduation in order to get a job, an internship is not the end-all-be-all for your future employment.
“The main thing is that students have that real world experience,” says Barnes.
She adds that real world experience can come from a variety of places beyond internships, such as a high-impact on-campus job, local and credible jobs that highlight your strengths and passions, and class projects that show off your skills.