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Steps I Took To Prepare for My First Internship

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

I knew upon starting college I’d have to get an internship at some point. It was always a process I put off until recently. This was mainly because many companies aren’t looking to hire freshmen or sophomores, but also because I was honestly scared of the whole process. I never knew where to start; I didn’t know how to reach out or find internships, and I feared rejection. If anyone else is in the same boat as I was, I’m going to describe in detail the exact steps I took to secure my first summer internship.

Even though I didn’t hear about my internship on a job website, I scrolled for many hours on job sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn. There are companies posting openings and opportunities constantly on these websites. Another thing I did when I was searching was ask around with friends or even my professors. It’s common for professors to know of at least one internship opportunity. Along with this, I used the alumni network to get in contact with people who may work or have worked with companies looking to hire interns. In the end, I found my internship through my mom, who saw a posting on social media.

Once I found and applied to my internship, I immediately started preparing for my interview, even though it was almost a week in advance. I do this before every interview I take because it gives me more confidence when going in. Even if the interview is online or in person, I like knowing what I’m going to say. I prepare for this by jotting down some notes about myself, answering commonly asked interview questions, and brainstorming ideas of questions to ask the person giving the interview. These three simple things have helped me tremendously to take less time thinking of what to say and make sure that I keep the conversation flowing at a nice casual, yet professional, pace. At the end of my interview, I made sure to thank my hiring team for their time and followed up with an email saying the same. I’ve always heard to do this so that they know you are truly thankful for the chance at this opportunity. 

In the end, a couple days after my interview I received an email that I was offered the internship position. I made sure to sign my offer letter as soon as I received it so that I wouldn’t forget. Even if I didn’t get the internship, I would keep looking. It took me a lot of time to finally obtain my internship, and I dealt with a lot of rejection for a multitude of reasons. My only piece of advice is to keep searching, because you’ll get your internship with time.

Emily is an Advertising Management student attending Michigan State University. She graduated from a small school in Northern Michigan where she was a member and leader in student government, National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Youth Advisory Council (Y.A.C.); serving roles in each. When she goes home for school breaks and the summer, she works as a sales associate and the social media manager for her local hardware store. She enjoys working on the store layout while in person as well as posting weekly on social media accounts to keep their customers informed of what products they have and the services they can assist with while away at college. In her free time Emily likes to attend concerts, listen to music, watch movies, go on hikes or walks, and spend time with her friends and family. She loves 80s movies and music with her favorite movie being Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She also loves to play soccer and volleyball, playing both since she was a kid. She is excited to get the opportunity to write for Her Campus and be a part of this community.