It’s that time of year. Winter is slowly moving out the back door and students are realizing we are almost halfway through the spring semester. For many people, this is a frantic time. Students are scrambling to try to get the best internship or summer job they can as application deadlines approach quickly. But don’t panic, there are a few things you can do to give yourself a good chance at getting the right internship.
One thing I hear people say a lot is “I want to work for this organization, but they do not have an internship program.” Don’t let that deter you! Send an email to somebody in that organization in a department you might be interested in, and inquire about opportunities. See if they have something you can do to help them do for free over the summer. I did this last year with my internship, and it ended up being an incredible experience. Many times, an organization will take you up on free work (if you show dedication and enthusiasm) and it is mutually beneficial to the both of you.
Another thing you can do is not to be afraid to be persistent and make phone calls. If you have applied for an internship, give the director a phone call to follow up on your application. Email a manager and ask some questions. It shows that you are interested and willing to put in the extra effort to find out more about it. Don’t be afraid to contact people who are high up in organizations. It might seem intimidating but more often than not they are more than willing to talk with you.
Lastly, it is absolutely imperative that you go above and beyond with your cover letter, resume, and samples of work if you have them. When you write your cover letter, take into account the job description and write it accordingly. If it says interns must be good writers, organized, and be able to work long hours, explain in your letter what you have done to become a good writer, be organized, and explain that you have experience working those hours and have been successful. But don’t stretch the truth! Be honest and upfront about your experiences, but try to craft your letter so it ties into the job description. Make sure your resume is up to date, factually correct, and that none of your documents have spelling errors. This will make your application all the more professional.
Don’t be afraid to apply to a lot of places, you never know who might be interested in your work and it does not hurt to apply. They will understand if you have to turn them down later on if you have been accepted to something else that will be better for your career.
Hunting for internships can be a time consuming and nerve-wracking time, but if you put in the extra work and are diligent in your communication with the places to which you applied, it can be very rewarding and you might just land an internship that will set you apart from the rest and teach you an incredible amount about your desired field.