Most people can tell you that they have prepared for an interview to land a job. But how did they get to a point where they had the experience they needed? Before the big interview for their dream job they more than likely had an internship, and in order to obtain the coveted internship they had to take the time to prepare. I have come up with a few important steps when it comes to preparing for an internship. Whether it’s your first or last internship before you apply for a job, I think these steps will definitely come in handy.
Take advantage of opportunities.
I know by now you are probably saying, “Well duh, that’s a no-brainer,” but some students are too busy with work and school and don’t take the time to take advantage of on-campus opportunities. I know that switching around your work schedule a little bit might not sound ideal, but in the long run being involved on campus can give you skills that a classroom can’t and help you get ahead in ways you never thought possible. It gives you a chance to break out of your shell and learn about opportunities outside of school that you might not have otherwise known about.
Take the time to have informational interviews.
This tip is one I have found to be extremely helpful. Whether or not you know exactly what you want to do with your major, meeting with a professional in the field you are looking at gives you the chance to pick their brain and find out what they do in their day-to-day career. Asking questions such as “How did you decide on the company you are at?” or “What helped you decide on your career path?” will give you better insight on what exactly you are looking for with an internship.
Ask professors to help you; they will!
Your professors are there to teach you, but beyond that they are there to help you. As an advertising major I have had time to work on my resume in my classes, but depending on your major, you may not be so lucky. Going to your professor and asking them for help shows them that you are willing to learn beyond the classroom and that you aren’t afraid to get help from someone who has more than likely gone through the same major as you!
Don’t be afraid to take on a challenge.
Lastly, take on challenges that are placed in front of you. When applying for internships you probably aren’t going to have some of the qualifications that they are looking for (hence the point of an internship), but one thing companies look for is someone who is willing to take on the challenge and learn. Building off of experiences that you’ve had in school or work will show that you are learning despite not having a previous internship.
As the time approaches for summer internships, don’t be afraid to take chances and spread your wings a little bit. The results could surprise you; I know they did for me. Happy internship hunting!