Getting an internship is intimidating. Students often feel the need to get one in order to be successful in the real world, only adding pressure to students who are already stressed. However, I have five ways to help you get the internship you really want.
1. Check your college or university’s job page. SMU has a page called Handshake that companies can post job openings for students and alumni. Often, you can use key words, search by major or even search through your year in school. This is how I found my internship, and how I applied for many others.
2. Don’t be afraid to cold email a company. Many businesses are flattered if you reach out to them and say you want to intern there. Just look for the contact us page, shoot an email or give them a call.
3. Ask people you know. Often times, your campus faculty and friends will know places that are looking to hire or other ways to find out who is. Don’t be afraid to ask your favorite professor if they know any places hiring. The worst that can happen is they say “no.”
4. Do your research. You need to know about a company when you interview and write a cover letter. Spend time browsing their website, reading their blog and finding out who they work with. This shows companies you really care about the company and the job opening. You can also find competitors and similar companies to apply to through research too.
5. Come up with your elevator pitch. When a company asks you to tell them about yourself, this is your chance to sell. Include what your major and expected graduation date are, any special skills or cool hobbies, what you’re looking for in an internship and what you would like to do in the future (as long as in aligns itself with the company).
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to finding and getting your dream internship.