Back in February I posted a blog called Finding Design Jobs and Internships where I listed four different resources that I had been finding helpful to find internship openings including using the Goldpass website, networking, browsing a lot of firm websites, and using alternative job boards. It took me about 1 month of very vigilant networking and searching, but it paid off because I've been successful in finding a summer internship that will be a great fit for me. While all of the previously mentioned techniques were helpful, below I'll talk about a few more techniques and resources that led me to my internship for the summer.
A) Look in a different city - The Twin Cities are great for design, but picking up and moving for a summer is much easier before you graduate and could help you expand your network outside of the Midwest. If you think you would be comfortable spending the summer in a different city, explore what is out there. I decided that I would love to travel somewhere new for the summer, so I specifically concentrated on three design/tech cities I was interested in: Austin TX, Boulder CO, and Portland OR and looked for as many openings as I could in those cities.
B) Linkedin - Finding a wide variety of firms and one that fit my interest in cities that I had never been to provided to be a challenge at first. If you are looking at a companies page on LinkedIn, on the right side you will see a section called "People Also Viewed". The companies under this section tend to do the same type of work and will be located in the same city as the current company you are viewing. This was really helpful for finding a lot of different firms in unfamiliar cities.
C) Twitter - If you found a place or two you are interested in on Linkedin or elsewhere, check out their Twitter page. Here you can find out more their personality and check out who they follow and interact with to find likeminded companies located in the same city. Often, you may find a firm that looks interesting, but doesn't say anything about whether or not they hire interns. In this case, it may be appropriate to send a short email inquiring to whether or not they do hire interns, though I had several successes with doing this via Twitter. Get a feel for the companies personality and use your own judgement to determine whether or not it would be appropriate to ask this question via Twitter. If the company is active on Twitter, it is likely a quicker and easier response for them, as well as good promotion.
D) Networking, again! - I don't think I can say enough about how important constantly meeting new professionals and expanding your network is. Design professionals I have met throughout the Twin Cities helped me by introducing me to people they knew in the cities I was interested in. Having any sort of personal connection can give you a big leg up on the competition.
So it's official: I'll be spending this summer in Austin, TX as a Design Intern at Springbox doing UX and visual design and I couldn't be more excited! If you are looking for a summer job or internship, don't limit yourself to only the Twin Cities and don't be afraid to reach out to others in your search!