Landing an internship can feel so intimidating; you might have no idea where to start, but you’ve just been told that an internship is something you should do. But have no fear! It’s not as scary as it seems, and you possess the skills and experience to land a great position (or at least a stepping stone to a great position). Here are a few tips to help your internship search and application processes.
1. Where to look
There so many different internships once you start looking for them. You can search on Handshake for jobs or internships, and you can enter preferences of jobs that you’re looking for on LinkedIn. Both Handshake and LinkedIn will send regular emails of positions that might interest you once you input your interests and start bookmarking positions. Attending on-campus career fairs is also a great way to learn about positions that are hiring directly from recruiters themselves. The career fairs are held once every quarter, and beforehand it’s good to prepare by perfecting your resume, doing some research on the companies that are attending (you can see the full list on the Internship and Career Center’s website), and perfecting your elevator pitch, or a brief synopsis of what makes you a great candidate to tell recruiters. The day of the career fair, sport your best business outfit and give a copy of your resume to all of the positions that interest you! Finally, you can brainstorm of different companies that you would be highly interested in working for and check their individual websites to see if they have any job postings.
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2. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
I recommend applying to every internship or position that even remotely interests you, because then the odds of you landing one or many are much higher. If you receive offers from multiple companies, then you have the luxury of weighing them against one another and choosing the one that works best for you, instead of just defaulting to one.
3. Take advantage of campus resources
The UC Davis Internship and Career Center is a huge resource. You can schedule a meeting with a professional career advisor to discuss anything related to taking steps for your career and they’ll point you in the right direction. There are also peer advisors and drop-in resume and cover letter review. These resources are extremely helpful and can make a huge difference in your internship search and general piece of mind. More information and details can be found on the ICC’s website. Every college campus is filled with different resources for your career; you could ask your professors if they have any research opportunities available, or join campus business organizations that offer great career resources and networks. Personally, being a part of Davis Women in Business has been huge for my career steps, both because of the resources offered by the organization and because of the friends I’ve made who have given me so much advice and guidance on my career search.
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4. Don’t stress!
Finally, it’s important to remember that the first or second internship you get while in college and the first couple of full-time jobs that you’ll have out of college are probably not going to be your dream positions, and you’ll likely be rejected from many. That’s more than alright! Think of these positions as stepping stones to the amazing career you’re building for yourself. Stepping stone positions are paramount to building not only your resume, but also your personal skills, experience, and confidence in the workplace, not to mention your network of people and job connections.
Additionally, by trying out different positions, you’ll discover what you like and what you don’t like and you’ll be able to make educated decisions about what you want future steps to be.