Here are five tips for finding a summer internship:
1. Determining the type of internship as well as identifying a
geographic location are key components to finding a rewarding internship for summer.
career options by doing research or contacting a career counselor at your
college is a good place to begin.
b. Choose several locations where you’d like to intern for the summer and research internship options available in those areas.
c. Develop a plan and identify when you are able to begin the internship.
2. Research available
internships and begin to make a list of your top priorities when looking for an internship.a. Make an appointment to meet with a career counselor at your college.
b. Begin looking for internships by searching online, checking out career sections of employer websites, and contacting employers of interest.
Network with family, friends, faculty, alumni from your college, as well as professionals in the field to see what types of opportunities you can uncover.
d. Check with the local
Chamber of Commerce as well as the Classified Ads in the local newspaper to identify employers who might offer internships in your field.
3. Once you’ve identified some internships of interest, it is time to begin the
application process. Be sure to carefully read how each employer prefers applicants to apply for available internships and be sure to follow-up with all employers.a. A career counselor at your college can assist you in preparing your resume and cover letter to ensure that it is targeted to each employer and internship.
b. Identifying key skills and accomplishments will increase your chances of getting called for an interview.
c. Apply for all internships of interest. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket and you will want to be considered for any internship that is of interest and for which you feel qualified.
d. Apply for all internships if you think you meet the majority of the qualifications. The qualifications listed are usually comprised of an employer’s wish list of qualities of the ideal candidate and you may possess more of the required skills than the competition.
Follow up with employers to see if there is any additional information they need from you, to ensure that they received your application materials, and to get some information on when the organization plans on making a decision.
f. Be sure to place a
professional message on your answering machine and use an acceptable email address that will not turn off potential employers.
g. Remember that first impressions count so you want to present a
professional image from the moment you send out your cover letter and resume.
h. Be prepared to supply the employer with references, transcripts, and/or a writing sample or portfolio (if applicable).
4. Your resume and cover letter will help you get an
interview but it is the interview itself that will land you the internship; so, be sure to prepare yourself adequately before showing up for the interview.a. Review company websites of all employers once you begin accepting interviews.
b. Make an appointment with a career counselor to review possible interview questions and/or to arrange to do a mock interview.
c. Practice, practice, practice.
d. Ensure that you have professional attire for interviewing and, if not, go out and buy an appropriate outfit. Depending on the organization and type of business this can range from a business suit to a nice skirt or pair of slacks and a dress shirt or blouse.
e. In addition to practicing interview questions be sure to recognize the nonverbals – maintaining eye contact, offering a firm handshake, and maintaining an erect yet comfortable posture throughout the interview.
f. Follow up each interview immediately with a
thank you note that reiterates your interest and clarifies any issues that may have come up during the interview.
5. Acceptance and preparing to start the internship.
a. Accepting the internship and preparing yourself to start is the last step of the process. Accept the internship both verbally and in writing.
b. Prepare to start the internship and ask the organization or your direct supervisor if there is anything you can do to prepare for the start of the internship.
c. Learn all you can about the organization by reading their website.
d. If you are unsure of the appropriate dress code, contact the organization to check and then make sure you have the appropriate clothing to wear.
e. Make final preparation on any living or travel arrangements prior to the start of your internship.
f. Show up at your internship well rested and dressed professionally.
g. Inquire about work hours and length of lunch and breaks to avoid any potential future misunderstandings. Behaving professionally requires that you follow the dress code and time limits established by the employer.