The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 0 comments
As the weather turns cold, students across the country are either nicely settled into their fall internships or trying to make it through the last few weeks of school before the holiday season begins.  One of the last things on many people's minds may be thinking about a summer internship.  While it may only be November there are tons of things you could be doing right now to put you ahead of the game come internship season in the Spring.

Make a list

Now is a great time to start thinking about where exactly you would like to intern for the summer.  My suggestion is to create a spreadsheet in Excel or a similar program and record information such as the company name, contact person, phone number, email, deadline for applications, etc.  This will greatly help you stay on track and prevent deadlines from slipping your mind.  Be sure to include a range of companies, from your dream internships to more realistic options.  You can put as many companies as you want on your initial list and narrow it down later once you've had a chance to decide what you're really looking for.  Applying for at least ten internships is a good goal to ensure that you have several options available to you.

So you want to intern for The Washington Post, eh?

If you have dreams of interning for a large company, believe it or not, the time to start applying is now.  Many companies have November deadlines for applications, or dates close to that.  These internships tend to be highly competitive so pay close attention to deadlines and other requirements.

Get everything in order

Having an up-to-date resume will be vital when it comes time for interviews and submitting applications in the Spring.  If your resume is not already up-to-date, add the new information and see if your school's Career Center offers to review students' resumes- often times they do.  Having a second pair of eyes proof-read your resume is always a good idea and the professionals at many Career Centers do a great job of making sure students' resumes are appropriate for the type of internship they will be applying for.

The fall is also a great time for compiling several letters of recommendations.  Aim to have three letters of recommendations on hand for interviews and applications.
Check out my article on how to score a killer letter of recommendation
Professors whose class you did really well in and seemed to connect with usually make great references as well as professional contacts you have from past jobs or internships.

Start researching

If you have a company in mind that you would really like to intern for or a company you want to find out more about, doing some research now is a smart move to get to know the business.  Besides exploring the company website in-depth, connect with them on any social media sites they are a part of, including Facebook and Twitter.  What the company tweets is usually a good indicator of what's going on more recently and what their general attitude is.  You will be able to use this information during applications and interviews to show that you have a good idea of what the company is like and why you would be a good fit.

CALLING ALL FORMER INTERNS- Based on your previous experience, what would you recommend potential interns start doing now to prepare for summer internships?

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