Posts Tagged ‘how to find an internship’
The internship during college summer break is becoming the elusive fruit for college students. With the state of the job market, internships are all the more essential to land a job after college graduation since they give you the competitive edge of having that real world job experience employers are looking for.
So, we have 4 tips to ensure that if you are currently working a summer internship you end the summer on the best note you possibly can to land a job in the future.
1. Finish strong
You might only have two weeks left in your internship before you head back to college. So…Make. It. Count. The summer’s flown by, and maybe you haven’t gotten the chance you’ve wanted to flex your proverbial muscle to the boss. The best thing you can do is go above and beyond with the task at hand. Finish the projects you’re assigned with flying colors. Even if it’s just inputting numbers into a spreadsheet, do it with gusto. Have a smile on your face. Laugh at your boss’s jokes even if he’s told the same one to you six times, and you didn’t find it funny the first time. For the most part, your employer knows that they have you doing the boring stuff, so just show them that you’re a nice, hardworking person to have around the office.
2. Show some of your personality
It’s super hard to be yourself when you’re hoping that people like you enough to possibly hire you in the future. The pressure turns a lot of usually bubbly co-eds into twenty-something robots. But, after you’ve been working your internship for most of the summer and finally feel more comfortable at the office, show a little more of your personality. It will make it a lot easier for your employer to distinguish you from the rest of the company’s future job applicants because you do that hilarious impression of a zombie Charlie Chaplin chasing a a chicken.
3. Ask for feedback
This is the perfect time to ask your boss or supervisor for some feedback. You might think you know what the company thinks of you and your work so far, but you may be surprised. Who knows? They might mistake your stern seriousness about your work for being really bored at the office. Not only will feedback help you become a better employee, but it’s a time to let your supervisor know what’s going through your head as well, like, all those amazing ideas you have to stop global warming or where that the next office party should be at Zigorno’s because then everybody can get whatever they want to eat AND play extreme dodgeball.
4. Express your future career interest
Whether it’s the same meeting or different one, setting up a time to let your employer know what you see for future is great idea. The reason for this is because you might actually not be interested in working at the place you’re interning. You might have totally different career goals for a multitude of reasons. Letting your employer know this won’t make them think less of you as long you’re doing your job well. In fact, they’re still great contacts to have for the future. If you’re working at a bank but you’ve realized you want to go into public relations, perhaps your boss can get you an interview with his wife’s cousin who owns a boutique PR firm.
If you are interested in the place you’re currently working, let them know as well. Companies want enthusiastic employees who demonstrate interest in them. So if you want in after graduation, let them know you’d appreciate it if they kept you in mind for the future and that you’re the one who brought the homemade chocolate covered pretzels in the kitchen.
Any other tips for interns? Share thoughts by leaving a comment below!
Entering your college years is like stepping into a vortex of fun, fatigue and the constant search for that perfect internship.
College, being your first real taste of independence will, for most people, be fun. And, for most people, the delicate balance of academics and procrastination will turn you into a zombie. But even truer a constant than these two collegiate states of existence is the fact that you’ll feel like Frodo Baggins on an epic mission to track down that dream of an internship before anybody else snatches it.
The perfect student internship could be the gateway to your dream job after graduation.
So, how do you get a hold of a great summer internship?
While there’s no such thing as a “bad” internship, one that has a little something to do with your interests and career goals might be the place to start. After that, you’ll want to look up.
Networking may seem like an intimidating process, but it’s easier than you think. Talk to parents, professors, friends of the family, anybody with a few good years on you whose role in the working world you admire. Let them know what type of internship you’re interested in, and ask them if they have any colleagues or friends they can put you in contact with. Remember, it’s called “Networking” because it doesn’t just stop at one contact–if that were the case it would be called “Lining.” One new contact can lead to a, ahem, NETWORK, of other contacts you could and should reach out to.
- Treat all people with whom you come in contact with respect, courtesy and professionalism
- Don’t put off getting in touch with a contact if you can’t see the direct effect it might have for your internship search
When it comes to “reaching out,” you want to tread carefully. For example, sending a mass email to all of your contacts at once is poor form. Instead, keep the email personal and concise. If you are contacting a person you’ve never spoken to before, clarify in the subject line how you know them and what you might be looking for. For example: “Given your name by Al Bundy” or “Referred by: Peggy Bundy. Seeking Career Advice.”
People’s email get overloaded with spam and bad jokes, so make sure that your email stands out with brevity and clarity.
Within your email, introduce yourself with a brief bio and what you are looking to do (long-term). Avoid write out your entire resume at all costs. Think more along the lines of 1-2 sentences. Also, don’t email a person blindly. Do some research about their company to prove your genuine interest. Do not ask for a job. I repeat: Do not ask for a job. That part is understood and if the contact wants to help you, they will follow up with either an internship opportunity or another person to contact.
Sometimes, you won’t get a response at all. In that case, brush your shoulders off and move on.
- Ask for advice or any other questions you might have about the company, the internship, the contact’s experience
- Carefully edit your emails for spelling errors. Your computer’s spell-check is not infallible.
- Don’t assume the contact will help you
- Don’t demand the contact to help you
Always, always, always thank the people who help you. No matter how far along they get you–whether to an interview or just answering a basic question about their line of work–say “thank you.” Sending an email 24-48 hours after your meeting, interview or informational session will keep you in their minds and let them know that you’re a courteous person. Nobody wants to work with a jerk. So if you’re a jerk, a congenial thank you email can be a helpful disguise.
Thank you “DO’s”:
- Remind the contact who you are
- Make a connection to how your skills would help their company
Thank you “DON’Ts”:
- Don’t send a “Thanks for nothin'” email
- Don’t send a sob story about why you need this internship
The best piece of advice we can give you is to go at your internship search with an open mind. You never know what you might find to fill your summer.
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