One thing I learned pretty quickly during my college experience is that real-life experience is more beneficial than anything you’ll learn in a classroom. Sure, grammar and technique are important, but so is people-skills and on the spot thinking, especially in my career field. Without internships, I wouldn’t be nearly as prepared to enter the “Adult World” this summer, so here are some tips I have picked up over the years on how to land an internship.
1. Keep an open-mind.
Sometimes your dream internship isn’t always what you would expect it to be. I’ve had internships that I’ve loved that I thought I would hate, and I’ve had some I’ve hated that I thought I would love. You have to be willinging to apply to multiple internships, and I promise you will end up exactly where you need to be.
2. Update your resume.
Make sure all information is relevant for the position you are applying for. Your 3 months as a fry cook might not look as good as a leadership position when it comes to a journalism internship.
3. Apply. Apply. Apply.
You probably won’t get the first internship you apply for. My first semester of trying to find an internship, I applied to over ten, heard back from two, and only got an interview at one. Certain companies are looking for certain things, and you’ll never know who will be willing to help you grow if you don’t try.
4. Don’t get discouraged.
It’s so easy to get discouraged when you aren’t hearing back from anyone. Give it time. My first semester, I didn’t get an interview with the company that I really wanted to work at, but the next semester I was hired. I’d like to believe I needed another semester of training and experience before I got the internship, but it all paid off.
5. Build/use connections.
No matter what industry you are in, connections matter. If you have a strong relationship with someone in the same industry, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether that be they help you get a spot at their company, or offer recommendations for opportunities they think you would be good for.
6. Ace the interview.
Nothing is more important than the interview process because this is where they will get a feel for your personality. Dress nice (seriously, don’t wear jeans), show up ten minutes early, and be open and honest. If you don’t act like yourself, you’ll either be hired for a job that has an environment you aren’t a good fit for, or you’ll miss an opportunity that could’ve been perfect for you.