Six Pieces of Advice for Getting an Internship
Finding an interview can seem daunting at first. The tips below can help you land your first internship and gain valuable experience to launch your career.
Use your resources. Take advantage of on-campus resume help and mock interviews. To prepare for your interview, create a list of questions you may be asked. Internships are competitive, make sure you set yourself apart from the competition. Show your passion for the company. Most importantly, be prepared but natural.
Before your interview, do your homework and research the company. Make sure you can express why you want to work there and what strengths you can offer to help the company succeed. What is their mission statement and how can you help the company further their goals? During the interview, make sure to ask what your day to day would look like.
When seeking out your ideal internship, it’s important to look for companies that will help give you a sense of direction. To help you evaluate your career path, pursue an internship that will offer a variety of experiences and hands on projects. Having the opportunity to test your skills on a variety of tasks can help you determine your strengths or any areas of improvement. It also may give you enough experience to know that you are studying the right major and will truly enjoy your chosen field.
A good internship should provide long-lasting and beneficial connections. The connections you make during your internship may lay the foundation for your career. Learning from a mentor who can guide you in the field is extremely beneficial. Internships that provide the opportunity to work closely with a mentor helps set you up for success once you enter the workforce. Even after the internship ends, having someone you can bounce ideas off of, use as a reference, and learn from will prove priceless.
Shortly after the interview, follow up with a thank you note, either by email or snail mail. Sending a thank you note shows that you appreciate the time they took to meet with you. Write down any questions that tripped you up during the interview so that you will be more prepared next time. Even if you don’t land the internship, making a good impression, highlighting your experience and being polite in the interview may still open doors when applying for jobs later on.
An internship should be a great opportunity to build your resume. Rather than send you for coffee runs, an internship that offers meaningful work experience and hands on training will provide the opportunity to build your resume. When in future job interviews, you will be able to reference specific goals you met, projects you played a role in and point to your success. Hopefully, by the end of this internship, you should have positive references for future employers