Graphic by Nate Barton
Though the university equips students with the necessary skills to go out into the workplace and complete required job duties, nothing beats the experience gained from completing an internship, as students get authentic, hands-on experience in their given field. Completing an internship can help students realize their passions and the industry in which they want to work following obtaining a degree.
I have loved many of the internships that I have completed; however, after completing a public relations internship, I know that the field is simply not for me. Completing the internship, however, has enabled me to explore my greater passions: fashion and film.
Nonetheless, as competition continues to rise in the workplace, so does the hunt for quality internships. Though I have already completed three internships and am currently on my fourth, it has taken quite some time and work to acquire and seek for such opportunities.
To save yourself the hassle and stress of looking for an internship, here are a few tips that I have learned along the way.
1. Have a polished resume
Meeting with an academic advisor or Career Services Center helps to ensure that your resume will stand out amongst other applicants. After having a good family friend look over my resume, I have received almost a callback from each place to whom I have sent my resume and cover letter. A resume is the first thing that applicants see when they are considering who they want to hire as interns.
2. Cover letters are equally as important
Along the same lines when constructing a resume, make sure to include a concise and sharp cover letter as well.
3. Check LinkedIn frequently for internship opportunities
LinkedIn helped me score my best internship at a film agency in Beverly Hills. Under the “Jobs” tab on the website, type in certain descriptions and key words to ensure maximum opportunity reach. Additionally, LinkedIn has given me connections that truly have been beneficial.
4. If a company does not have an internship post, still send out a resume and cover letter
Sometimes, companies do not release internship posts, as many agencies do not want to sift through the plethora of applications. Thus, send away! This shows a deeper interest and dedication to the companies to which are being applied for experience.
5. Do not get discouraged
I remember when I was first applying for internships, how anxious and stressed I was. Keep applying. It’s fine if companies do not contact you back — if you are rejected, don’t take it personally. You are just made to complete some other job opportunity somewhere else instead.
6. Be open to an unpaid internship
Though my current internship is paid, my three previous ones have not been. I do understand that completing an unpaid internship can be discouraging, but I have also gained some invaluable experience from doing so—and they have lead me to paid internships.
Internships offer valuable experience, as students prepare to market themselves for post grad. Regardless of what internship you complete, market yourself in a way that enables you to truly get as much as you can from your experience, so that you will have an amalgamation of skills to put on your resume for post-graduation job applications.
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