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A Collegiette’s Guide to Internships

Internship: one of the many words a college student dreads hearing. The first thing that comes to mind most of the time is, “why would I want to work for FREE?” This may be true. Most internships, especially in Boston, are unpaid. However, they are amazing experiences and you will come out of it rich with new skills, friends, and even potential future colleagues.

I am currently in my fourth year of school, and in the past I have interned for The Boston Bruins Foundation, KISS 108, and I will be starting a third internship 451 Marketing soon. I could not be more excited.

Internships do not come easily, especially if you have little-to-no experience in your field. If you find yourself in this situation, the best way start gaining experience is by volunteering in your field. For example, I got my first internship after I started off volunteering for the B’s Foundation working every home game by selling raffle tickets. It was not the most glamorous position, but it was a foot in the door and a huge resumé booster. 

I highly urge each and every person reading this to get at least one internship while they are in college, whether it is required or not. Based upon my experiences, here are my tips and advice on landing internships. 

  1. Your resumé. Look it over hundreds of times and have more than one person look it over for you. Here at Suffolk University we have the Career Services office where you can have somebody go over your resume with you.
  2. Since each internship you have will be unique, have a different cover letter that’s customized for each internship that you are applying for. Generic covers will not work and your potential employer will notice. Be specific!
  3. Only apply for an internship where family members work if you are guaranteed a position. The interview process could be awkward and may create tension if you do not hear back from the employer, especially if your family member is the one to interview you.
  4. Learn as much as you can about the company you are applying for a position at. Study their website as if you were studying for your next big test. It is a good idea to understand the company, especially as the interviewer may ask you questions geared toward it. 
  5. Have at least three references and only provide them if asked (and no, your mom does not suffice as a reference no matter how much she loves you).
  6. NETWORK. Befriend people from group interviews. Even though they are your competition at the moment, they are good to network with because you can share past internship experiences and contacts. If you have a good relationship with past employers, keep in contact as they may lead you to more opportunities and act as references.
  7. Get on LinkedIn! It is a professional network where you can post your resume and experiences. Also you can connect with your fellow students, previous employers, and generally people you know in your field.
  8. Do not give up! Chances are your first few weeks will consist of coffee runs, photo-copying, and answering phones. Get through this and you will be trusted with tasks that will be more entertaining and relevant to your field.
  9. Dress appropriately for your interview. If you get lost or indecisive about what to wear, send your interviewer or their secretary an email or a quick phone call. It might sound silly, but some companies have a more formal atmosphere than others. As an employee of the company, your interviewer will know what the daily culture of the company is and be able to help you decide.

These are some of the internship tips and tricks that have worked for me on my personal internship journey. I hope that they work for you, and wish you the best of luck at your next internship! If you have any other tips/tricks/advice let us know in the comments!

Hey! I'm Lisa and I am a senior at Suffolk. I am a Public Relations major with a minor in marketing.  
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