With summer break right around the corner, many college students are beginning to think about applying for internships, but with so many options, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Here are 5 easy tips that will help you find the perfect internship!
- Finding Internships
It is extremely easy to get overwhelmed with information when starting your search for an internship. One great place to look for when finding internships is Chegg Internships, which allows you to search through various different filters and usually has application links directly on the internship listing. Another favorite of mine is Handshake, a website for college students and recent graduates that organizes internship openings in your area in an easy-to-use format. Handshake has some of the best features in terms of internship sites, like allowing users to create profiles about themselves so that internship directors can reach out to you directly and letting users save their resumes and cover letters in their accounts for easier access when applying for internships, sort of like a mini LinkedIn.
- Utilize Your School's Resources
Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to getting an internship. Some professors have great connections with companies and non-profit organizations in your area of interest, so be sure to check in with them regularly to see if anything becomes available (this might also help you get first dibs at internships when they come in). If you are an Oglethorpe University student, be sure to connect with Career Development and the A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning). Their team members are experts at helping students find the best internship options based on their individual needs, and also offer helpful sessions such as their resume building program that can help you perfect your resume so that you stand out to the internship directors!
- Narrow Down Your Choices
Once you’ve gathered a few internship options, it’s important to identify the aspects that are essential to you. Paid or unpaid, start and end date, and the area of work the internship falls under are three categories to look at and decide on, that way, it will be much easier to narrow down each one that you’re interested in. You should also think about if the internship you’re looking at will align with your schedule by factoring in commute times (applying to some remote internships, especially during this time, might be a good idea if you run into issues with transportation) and other regular commitments.
- Be Yourself During the Interview Process
This one might sound cliche, but it's definitely true. Interviews can be nerving and stressful, but just remember that you were selected because the internship director saw something in your application that made YOU an ideal candidate for the position! Don’t be afraid to talk about your interests and hobbies outside of your school and work life as well, as this lets the interviewer know that you’re well-rounded and personable. Make sure you’re honest during the interview as well (and on your application!), even if it’s the answer you don’t think they want. It’s ok to not have all the qualifications they are looking for, especially if you express your eagerness to learn!
- Stay In Touch After the Interview
You would be surprised how far a simple “thank you” email can get you! If possible, be sure to send a brief message to the interviewer afterwards thanking them for their time and express how much you enjoyed connecting with them. If it comes down to you and another candidate, simple gestures like this can be the factor that makes you stand out. Even if you don’t get an internship you interviewed for, thanking them for their time and their interest in your application will show the interview and the internship director that you’re professional and grateful, which might get your name placed on contact lists for upcoming or alternative interviews with them as well.
Now that you’ve got some brief tips on the internship selection and interview processes, you’re ready to get out there and start searching. You’ve got this!