The Struggle of Finding Internships

As I’m starting my third year of the 3+1 Masters in Accounting Program at Siena, I feel like I am falling more and more behind other students. It seems like all of the seniors I know and have class with have either had an internship in the past, are doing an internship right now, or have one set up already. Although I do have one last summer to do an internship and potentially during the school year of 2020-2021 while I’m getting my Masters, I keep feeling a pressure to get an internship ASAP. I tend to be an outgoing and talkative person, but my nerves at the Career Fairs and during interviews always seem to take over. Here are some of my struggles and recommendations for trying to overcome them.

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There are several struggles I have come across so far in my search, and the first one is the amount of time it takes to apply for them all. Getting my resume updated, professionally checked by someone from the Career Center, doing all the recommended changes and then submitting the applications took a lot longer than I anticipated. Definitely bring your resume to the Career Center at your college, since it was very helpful, but do it sooner rather than later because it does take a while! Besides this, more and more companies already expect you to have internship experience before they hire you as an intern. The first thing I thought was, how am I supposed to have internship experience if this would be my first one and how am I going to compete with other students for this internship if they have previous experience? If you get asked in an interview why you haven’t had an internship before, my recommendation is to talk about a prior job that could be related and how you could apply that knowledge to the internship.

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Another issue I’ve had is that my nerves sometimes get the best of me when I go in to interview. It’s nerve wracking sitting in the career center waiting for your turn to interview and you can hear another student really hitting it off with HR. Normally to regain my confidence, I try to think about the different ways I can respond to the questions they are currently asking the student being interviewed (especially since they usually ask the students the same or at least similar questions). In-person interviews are one thing, but phone interviews seem so much more difficult for me personally. It’s almost impossible to be able to read how the person interviewing you responds to your answers to their questions. I hate not being able to see their face, and see if I need to explain something more thoroughly or not talk about a topic as much. For me, it’s helpful to keep a copy of my resume close so if the interviewer mentions anything about it, I have the resume to look at.

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I just keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’ll eventually find an internship and won’t be as stressed out about it. Hopefully these recommendations will help with internship interviews and applications!