This summer I will be working at my first internship. For the privacy of myself and the company, I will not state where it is, but I will share I received the career-starting opportunity! If you are willing to dedicate a few hours a week to research and applications then keep reading…
Utilize Campus Resources
What a great way to score some insight into areas you are interested in than utilizing FREE campus resources. They are technically included in your tuition so take advantage of them and get your money’s worth! Many colleges have career offices that can help prepare you for the ~real world~ or offer career fairs/networking events. Go to as many of the events as possible. The more you show employers what you are made of, the more confident you feel and if you are talking with repeat recruiters, you are showing interest in their company which they love. If your campus has networking events, it is a great idea to participate in those as well. It helps you become more comfortable with expressing who you are in a short period of time. The more I went to these events, the better I was able to explain why I chose my major and my desired career path.
Take Advantage of Recruiting Websites
Wayup, Looksharp, Linkedin, Indeed, etc are perfect websites to help jumpstart your search. Make sure to keep your profile as updated as possible and allow it to be public so recruiters can view it. These websites all have different tools to find jobs and are incredibly user-friendly allowing users to find their dream job. If you have not looked at these websites, try to utilize one, in addition to Linkedin. If you do not have a Linkedin, start there. Linkedin is essentially an online resume that allows you to “make connections” either with your actual friends or employers. People can endorse you for certain skills. There is no better feeling than when someone else verifies you’re a leader.
Make a Lasting Impression
If you are not confident, fake it until you make it. Simple. Effective. I had multiple interviews both in person and on the phone and every time I would naturally get nervous. In the beginning, I had not gotten into my major specific classes so I still was not sure what made me unique and stand out. This made it more difficult to secure second round interviews. I was getting beat out by more experienced candidates who knew how to project a better professional image. Many interviews and self-reflections later, I felt confident enough and had taken enough of my major-specific classes to know what I was passionate about.
When you are passionate, it shows and if you can project that excitement, employers view you as a serious candidate.
Ask for Help
This is self-explanatory. When you do not know what else to do, ask for help. Have someone review your resume. Have a friend give you a pep talk before interviews. Work with family members who have gone through similar interviews. You cannot do it all on your own without going crazy. Give yourself a break and get some help.
- Steam or iron your outfit before your interview. You want to look serious. The employer is looking at you as a potential representation of their company.
- Wear business professional to your interview. Unless it is stated otherwise, you should look professional…again, you are looking at representing a company. Do not roll out of bed and call it good.
- Get a business professional folder. Once again, looks serious, makes YOU look good. Up your game, get a leather one.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview. Do not be awkwardly early, but be there early enough to show the interviewers you are responsible and timely.
- Show your passion. Whatever you are passionate (career wise and hopefully related to the interview) show it. If an employer can see your passion for a certain project they mention, you stand out.
There are many ways to obtain your dream internship. However, these are some basic ways to get your headed in the right direction. Sometimes we just need the extra push to truly excel.
What are you waiting for?
Get to applying! Your dream internship is waiting!