The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 0 comments

The few weeks right before school starts back up can be a hectic and exciting time for lots of students.  On one hand, you're excited to soon be reunited with friends you haven’t seen all summer, but on the other hand you're sad to say goodbye to those summer nights and having free-time, and for some… you're freaking out because you still haven’t managed to land a fall internship.

Although time is limited, it’s still not too late to find that perfect fall internship as long as you kick it into high gear starting NOW.

Be Prepared

Have an updated resume and writing sample ready to go; cleaning up all of your social networking profiles doesn’t hurt either.  

Use Who You Know

The people you know are one of the best resources for finding an internship.  The saying “it’s all about who you know” didn’t pop-up out of nowhere.  It’s not only about who you know, but who they know as well.  Call up your friends and acquaintances and let them know what kind of internship you’re trying to find and ask if they know of anyone in that field they could refer you to.  I once had a professor, who was also an attorney, and simply asked if he knew of any attorney’s in my hometown who might be looking for interns… he not only gave me an attorney’s contact information, but called to put a good word in for me.

Search the Web

Do a Google search for the type of internship you’re looking for and your area.  It can be as easy as searching “public relations internship + St. Louis, MO” and just seeing what pops up.  In the past when I have done this while trying to find an internship, I was surprised to find that a lot of local schools (that weren’t mine) had internship listings that I was able to see and utilize.  Some job search websites now have listings for internships as well.

Do Your Research

When you find a business that you're interested in, do your research before contacting them so you know the essentials such as what they do, who the owner is, etc.  You don't have to memorize the name and face of every employee listed on their website, but put in the effort to let businesses know you are serious about finding an internship.

Just Ask

These two simple words are the best advice I can give anyone trying to find an internship and are the reason why I have gotten almost all of my internships.  It sounds silly, but this piece of advice is also why I started this blog- smart and straightforward.  It can never hurt to call or email a business and politely ask if they are considering hiring an intern for the upcoming semester.  Some businesses may have never had interns, but wouldn’t be opposed to taking one on if you’re offering (at this point when larger or more well-known business might have already hired their interns, smaller businesses are a good bet and can offer just as much experience).

NEVER send out a mass email to multiple companies; this is a huge no-no and will pretty much guarantee you won't get an internship with them.  If you decide to email, keep it short and sweet, but personalize the message to describe why you would be a good fit for the company and show that you did your research.  Attach your resume and a writing sample (if applicable) and keep an Excel document of who you called/emailed and what they said to keep track.

Follow Up

The feeling you experience after calling and emailing so many businesses to find an internship can be nerve-wracking to say the least, especially if you’re in a time crunch.  Use the Excel sheet you created to follow-up with those you left messages for, emailed, or who asked for you to send additional information.  That extra effort it takes to follow-up with a company, shows that you're dedicated and have a good work-ethic.

Don’t Give Up

If after all of your hard work you still can’t manage to find an internship, don’t get too down in the dumps.  Once you're actually at school, you will have more access to professors and people who may have connections for you to utilize.  When you're back on campus, hit up your school's career center and the dean of your respective college to see what resources they have available for you to use.  Some businesses contact schools when they have intern positions open up.  If you absolutely can't find a fall internship, focus your energy on a part-time job, student organization, or your school work, and start early on the internship search for the spring.

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