internships

Tips for Scoring a College Internship

College internships are a competitive element of the college experience. Employers look for the best and brightest to intern with them, and with today’s diverse, capable pool of applicants, there is no shortage of options.

So, how do you find a college internship? Here are six tips on how to best go about scoring an internship near you:

1. Determine your interests.

Get a general idea of what career you plan on working toward, or how or where you think your time would be most well spent. Consider your goals, hobbies, and passions when seeking internships. Get an idea of what you want to be doing and how you can achieve it.

Some college students already know what they’d like to study, while others remain undecided for a time. If you have a career path chosen, an internship that will help you on that road would be the best fit. If you don’t know where you might end up, no worries! Find a subject that interests you and go from there. 

Recognize that some types of internships are more relevant to your goals than others. A music-focused job might be fun and cater to your love of the piano, but if you’re studying psychology, it isn’t likely to help you.

2. How to find an internship.

Think about your major’s requirements. Take into account the credits you may need, the experience you should gain, and the knowledge you’ll need to attain. Keep these in mind during your search.

Do your research. There are plenty of internships that aren’t widely advertised and some that are even based online. Researching open internships related to your area of interest can yield all sorts of results. Check out internships.com for an expansive list of internships in different industries. You can even seek out company-specific internships like Tesla & NBC, or explore industries like mechanical engineering or network engineering internships.

Make a list of potential employers and internships you find. You can also do simple Google searches that include your area of interest + internships + preferred location (ie: Tesla engineering internships in the Baby area, eBay internships in New York City, etc.). How about a Google internship? Prominent companies like Google provide dedicated pages to help guide your internship and career exploration. See Google’s internship page HERE. 

Joining a club or society dedicated to the area you’re interested in can open a world of possibilities, as they tend to post new opportunities and acquaint you with new people. Career fairs and info nights can provide information about different internships and employers. These are all good ways to sort through options and make connections.

3. Ace your internship applications.

Make yourself stand out. Clean up your resume, have references prepared, and find someone to write a letter of recommendation.

Have your application critiqued. You want your application to be as good as possible, so having it reviewed and critiqued by a professional can only improve it. A different perspective can help you find missing pieces and points to revise, which could be the key to your success.

Early application will likely produce better chances of getting an interview, given that most internships take applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Applying early will also make you stand out as someone who takes their work seriously and is a go-getter when it comes to their future.

Submit applications to several potential employers. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket by applying for just one internship. You’ll find yourself disappointed and jobless if it doesn’t work out, and you’ll have a harder time finding new opportunities too late in the game. It’s also a good idea to be open to internships in different locations. Have you always dreamed of living in Chicago but reside in Houston? Search “Chicago Internships” and see what comes up! 

4. Prepare for interviews.

While every interview is different, the questions they ask are similar. Preparing answers to interview questions and mock interviews can give you an idea of what questions you’ll be asked and give you a better feel of an interview to ease your anxieties.

TIP: Wondering what kind of questions you’ll encounter in your interviews? Check out @thebalance’s careers blog post “Sample Internship Interview Questions.”

Research potential employers. The more you know about the company you’re interviewing for, the easier the interview becomes. Most company websites have an About Us page. Know it. Reference it. And be ready to talk about how you can support it. Research can reveal what interviewers are looking for in their candidates based on the company’s beliefs and practices.

Take your research a step further by connecting with employers on LinkedIn. A great networking tip is to seek out your internship hiring manager and introduce yourself through the professional social networking platform. Don’t have a profile? Create one today!

5. Follow up after the interview.

Send a thank-you note to your interviewer(s). You’ll want to do this within 24-hours of your interview. The letter should be short and straightforward, re-establishing your position and showing your gratitude for the opportunity. Invite requests for additional information and further communication in regards to the interview.

Send notes to those who aided you along the way (i.e., upperclassmen, recruiters, etc.). Thank them for their help and update them on how your interview went.

Emails are sufficient, but handwritten notes also work well. If you plan to write a handwritten note, be sure that it will arrive within two days of the interview.

TIP: Want to write a thank-you note but don’t know where to start? For examples and how-to’s on writing follow-up notes, check out:

6. Make a choice.

If you get accepted for an internship or multiple internships, really think about what this new job will entail. Decide which option best suits you, and whether or not you genuinely plan to pursue it.

It’s okay if you don’t get picked for your first choice. Any internship in the area of your choice is sure to give you experience. Remember that internships are about the skills you develop and the perspective you gain. Take the best chance given to you and do your best!

Internships are a significant part of the college experience. Landing an internship can put you ahead in your studies and provide real-world experience that you can’t get from a lecture. Follow these steps to improve your chances of getting that internship you wanted and move a step closer to reaching your goals.

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

Works Cited

Sell Your Spring Break Vacation

Want to add something incredible to your resume that puts you over the edge? Do something over Spring Break that you’ll be able to sell to employers! Show them that you take advantage of your free time in productive ways by trying some of these Spring Break ideas.

Shadow someone in your profession

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This shows your dedication to your major and profession of interest. It also shows that you have some experience and have spoken with and have connections to professionals in your field.  If you don’t know where to start choose a company you think would be of interest and use their contact information to find out if it’s a possibility.

Volunteer

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Whether in your hometown or in a far off country, community service work always looks good on a resume. You are dedicating your free time to helping other people! Good for you! Ever heard of Alternative Spring Break? 

Continue your current internship

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This can be harder to sell, but it shows a willingness to spend break furthering your knowledge and skills rather than lying on the beach or watching Netflix.  Don’t have an internship to start with? Check out Internships.com.

Help out your old high/middle/elementary school with a fundraiser

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EVERYONE likes to see that you know how to contribute to a fundraiser.  It’s a bonus you get to see old friends and faculty and you might just stumble upon some networking opportunities while you’re at it.

Learn something new

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Take the time off to learn to code or speed through a language learning app like Duolingo. You can then add this skill to your resume, giving employers more reasons to hire you.

Networking 101

Networking has become a powerful tool in creating and sustaining connections. These connections can include business professionals, professors, and long lost friends. Not only can these connections open up new avenues for future employment, but it can also pave the way for internships and volunteer work to build experience. What’s most important is the way in which you can develop and build upon professional relationships with multiple people.

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Here are a few tips to building those relationships!

Let them get to know the real you– It’s important for your connections to get a sense of who you are as a person, as well as your achievements and goals and hobbies. Let them see anything that might be of some importance as it pertains to you. Stand out and be known!

Discover the ins and outs of your future career– Connecting with people who are already in the career your studying for is a great way to learn about it before you even get there. This way you can better prepare for interviews or gain the necessary experience before you graduate.

Participate in events/organizations– When you participate, you meet new people and they see firsthand your work ethic and drive.

• Try social networking– place all these connections into social media accounts. LinkedIn and other professional social media websites help you keep track of all your connections. It’s also convenient for getting in touch with people you have met but haven’t had time to build on a relationship in person.

Why College Internships are a Necessity Today

As I am finishing up my own internship, I have gained lifelong skills that will beneficially impact my life as I move on to new experiences. Any internship offers something different, whether it’s new people, new atmospheres or new tasks; an internship can help you reach your future goals.

Here are my 3 points of view of how beneficial internships are.

1. THE PEOPLEyoung-professionals
Having an internship as a college student with an established company, allows you to network with people you ordinarily wouldn’t.  Meeting new people during an internship can help you make connections for a possible future career. According to Forbesinternships have been one of the best ways to get a job since 2013!  As a college student you have to make the right impression to all the right people and then who knows, you might just land your dream job! At any point in time within your current or future internship you could be corresponding with a future career connection.

MY ADVICE: When you start an internship, try to get to know who you’re working with. Find common ground for connections and most of all work hard to show them what a great intern you are.

2. THE ATMOSPHEREOlive Media Office
Having multiple internships in different places is actually very beneficial. Not only do you learn how to get to new places around your city or in a new state but you also learn how to adapt to new surroundings. Having a hands-on internship versus a behind the desk internship can be challenging at times to know what to do or how to do it. Having multiple internships allows you to distinguish the situation you’re in which future employers appreciate hearing about.

MY ADVICE: Have multiple internships that are all different from each other regarding location and type of internship. Being thrown into different surroundings makes you a well-rounded intern or future employee.

3. THE TASKSgirl_paperwork
As an intern you will be asked to complete several different tasks and duties that might require mental, emotional and physical strength. You will gain skills that you would have never thought you would know about. No worries, this is a good thing! It allows you to become more knowledgeable about how different things work and you could even gain the superlative of the “smarty pants” by the end of college.

MY ADVICE: Complete every assignment that’s given to you and even ask if anything else can be done. There’s nothing wrong with trying to overachieve for an internship.

As a college student internships are very important because they truly help shape the person you want to be one day. If you keep these three things in mind you will truly see how beneficial an internship can be.

How To Write a BAD Resume

Nothing is more enthralling than writing up your first post college resume, right? ….Okay I am only joking about the thrills of the trade.  Let’s change things up a little by me sharing with you how to write a BAD resume in three easy steps.

Step 1. WRITE FAST.

You seriously want to be done with this horrible task as soon as possible.  Editing takes forever and you may have to find another person for a second opinion.  Human Resources will definitely know you were trying to say “shift” the 30 times you left out the f.

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Step 2. WRITE A LOT.

No need to be shy- the employer has all day to read over your resume.   You should flood them with useless achievements beginning with your youth t-ball team home run up until the award winning omelet you created this morning. The less relevant the achievements are to the job posting the better.  You want to stand out!

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Step 3. LIE. LIE. LIE.

This company doesn’t know you.  Embellish EVERYTHING! Odds are they are not going to actually cross check all credentials you list.

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Okay…READY? SET? GO!

*DISCLAIMER: Following any of this advice will almost guarantee you a spot in the “reject” pile for landing interviews. Only follow these steps if you would like to remain unemployed.