Internship 101

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Jennifer Bennett | jbennett49@radford.edu

Many universities require their students to complete an internship for a graduation requirement. However, some students find that because of their major it is extremely difficult to find internships. Here are some tips that can help you find and obtain the internship of your dreams.

First, make sure that your resume is spotless. Have someone you know and trust look over your resume to make sure that there are not any spelling or grammatical errors in the resume. Make sure that you add all kinds of experience that you may have – it may seem as inadequate experience but it could be important to a potential employer. Also, make sure that all of the information on your resume is accurate – it is not worth it lying on a resume or an interview and then them find out that you did not have that experience and knowledge that was claimed.

Second, do not just go for the payed internships. Many companies will not pay their interns to just see how they can handle the responsibility and if they think the intern could be potential for a full time job. Some students will pass up an unpaid internship because they want the money along with the experience. Sometimes for future employers, will care more about getting an unpaid internship at a really prestigious company than they would if their candidate had a paid internship at a lesser newspaper.

Third, be prepared if you get called in for an interview. Sometimes a candidate can sound competent on a resume but in person they say things that could make a potential employer not hire you. Dress nicely – do not wear something that you would wear to go to your early morning classes. Do not think that if you are qualified and have experience with your university and have job experience that the internship is guaranteed.

Fourth, after you have the interview, make sure that you reach back out to the employer to thank them for taking the time to sit down with you and have the interview. There are probably many different candidates that have applied for the same internship as you so if you reach out to a company after the interview it will look better in the prospective employer’s eyes. It is important to do the little things differently such as this so that they know that you take the entire process seriously.

Finally, if you do not already have one, create a LinkedIn account. A LinkedIn account is essentially a Facebook for the professional world. There people can connect with employees and employers at their dream company and start to build contacts. It is extremely easy to join and it has proven to be extremely effective. This platform is especially helpful if you are trying to change where you live and get a job. It does not look at where the location is and limit it to that surrounding area. For example, say the person signing up lives in Radford. It is possible for them to connect and talk to individuals who work for The New York Times or other companies based out of New York.

In conclusion, there are many different tips that you can follow that can make it more likely that you will land the internship of your dreams. However, even if a candidate follows all of the tips and advice there is still no guarantee that the internship will be obtained. Good luck with the internship hunt!