At the recent internship panel series, Internships Near and Far, we heard 2nd year students' practical tips about how they found their internship and made it a worthwhile experience. Here are Martha Krohn, Career Services Internship Coordinator's top 10 tips that she heard:
* Start early - One great way to "start early" is to update your resume to make sure it's current in case there's a reason to send it out.
* Talk to everyone about what you are looking for - Mentors, faculty, staff, family members, classmates, friends - you never know who will have a great idea or lead for you
* Be persistent - bug people (in a nice way) - Keep in touch with your contacts about where you're at in your search and what you're interested in
* Be open to opportunities - even if you don't know for sure it is what you want - An internship is a chance to learn something new, and you might be surprised and enjoy something unexpected
* A little email goes a long way - This goes back to being persistent and keeping in good communication with contacts
* Apply for internships even if you don't think you meet all of the qualifications - you are doing the internship to learn - Internships are a learning experience by nature - the hiring team expects to teach you about the job and field
* If you need to submit a letter of reference - draft the letter for your referrer - Your referrer is probably very busy, plus you know more about the opportunity and your fit with it. Put it in words and provide it to your reference to save them time
* Once you have an interview, find someone at the organization who can
give some "inside scoop" about it - Ask your mentor, faculty and other contacts about the internship and what they might know about it. You might be surprised at who are "insiders" to the organization
* Apply to a lot of things - don't put all your eggs in one basket
* While in the internship - use some of your time to connect with people at the organization and other organizations you might be in contact with - Here's a way to build your network and learn about other people's jobs
Hope these tips are motivating. One last thing that surprised me was how many students found their internship on the Career Services internship listings. Just use the user name and password that Martha has emailed out, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a reminder. Why don't you "start early" by checking it out today!