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The Internship How To

The First Step: Research

The First Step: Research

Preparing for an internship is one of the many goals for college students. The work you engage is provides the bridge of connections and experiences that will bring you toward a career in the world. Once you have an internship the rest comes along in time, which means the hardest part is: getting a internship.

The First Step: Do the research. You need to look up exactly what your interest is within a particular field. This will narrow down the search into a more specific area. Make sure you research the top results thoroughly so that you will be prepared with information on the company. To do this study the organization by reading their profile and looking at the different work that has been done there. This is an important step in an internship because when being interviewed, if you have no knowledge of the company your motivation and dedication to be a part of the team will decrease. Additionally, by doing the research you can plan for the potential travel that will have to be made and analyze the probability of a good performance.

The Phone Call: Calling the potential employer is the next step. State who you are, what school you are associated with and then your majors and/or minors. For example: “Hello Mr./Mrs. Business, my name is So Andso. I am currently attending Blah University where I am majoring in Subject 1, with a minor in Subject 2. I was calling to inquire about a potential internship with your company during this time period.” This phone call is important to show the employer you are taking the initiative and sounding confident and professional.

Another way to get your foot into the door in the likelihood of getting an internship is the connections you have. At the end of the day, its the person who can vouch for you that will be the deciding factor. The different connections you can make vary from your parents, family friends and even professors. Start building your references list.

The Resume: Developing a resume and cover letter determine who you are as a person before the employer meets you. This is a time to brag about yourself, making your accomplishments more desirable based on the position you seek. If the information on your resume does not matter in the internship, do not put it there. Your resume should not just be black and white, especially if you are going into a creative field, so dress it up (within reason). A cover letter explains why you want that job and why you are the best fit for the internship. It can be a nice addition to your resume, but can also be left out.

The Portfolio: Another great addition to your resume and cover letter is a portfolio; the portfolio proves that you know what you are doing. It shows the potential employer your skills and identifies your qualifications. Portfolio work can also include school work and is not restricted to art students. For example, marketing or advertising students should use their projects like their campaigns, marketing plans and advertisement work. Your class work should be treated like real-life work: experience developed to further your career. Extra-curricular work, such as photography, writing, architecture and design models (anything that relates to your time and effort) should be apart of your portfolio if its relatable.

Practice for the Interview. Practice your posture and your language. This will calm your nerves and make you appear more confident, even if you are freaking out underneath. Talking to yourself in a mirror, practicing with family or friends and researching interview questions online will prepare yourself for the interview. When the day finally arrives, wear business attire. How you dress says who you are as a person and dressing presentable in work clothing is respectful to your interviewer. Whether they are the manager or boss, you must gain their respect. They say never “judge a book by its cover”, but in an interview that does not hold up.

Once hired, double check with your advisor to determine if your internship can be credited towards college credit. If the internship was not found through the school, typically it will need to be approved by administration first. Once it is approved, there are certain hours that count for a certain number of credits. If it does not count, don’t be discouraged. The experience you gain can lead to greater opportunities in the future/

If you are interested in getting an internship, then start now. What you prepare for will make the future process less stressful. Being ahead of the ball is important because you will be competing with thousands of other kids looking for the same position as you. With proper jumpstart and early preparation, you will no doubt land a dream internship.

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