When to look, where to look, and how to choose! Internships are in most cases a gateway to an entry-level position, and knowing this will allow you to succeed from start to finish. Freshman in college are in most cases seen as the lowest on the totem pole; it is your job to change that. So, where do you look for internships?
The resources for finding an internship that fits you are endless, but it is up to you to take initiative. Start at your campus career fair. Most campus’ career fairs will be primarily generated through juniors and seniors, however, do not let that discourage you from attending. If you decide to attend your campus’ career fair- be prepared! Being prepared is the key to success; you will never know who you run into on the elevator! Being prepared does not always mean dressing for success, even though how you look is their first interpretation of you. Being prepared includes having copies of an up to date resume, having business cards, as well as, being present and knowledgeable on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn.
Another great way to get connected is to join a student organization and attend their conferences. Attending a conference will allow you have more personalized time with representatives from companies you are interested in. Being active in a student organization also allows you to have a diverse background. Having good grades is awesome, however, that is not the only thing companies are looking for when searching for top talent. When companies are searching for top talent they look for a person with a diverse background of experiences. These experiences include obtaining good grades, being involved in leadership teams, and also showcasing philanthropic community involvement. The more well-rounded you are, the more opportunities you will receive!
Now what? You have built your resume, you built your network and now it is time to build your application. You have sat through workshops, you have listened to speakers, you have done your research and now it is time to apply for the position you want! Applications can be very tricky because this is the first time a person will consider hiring you. When going through an application, take your time; you should answer each question thoroughly and with as much personality as possible, there should not be any grammatical errors and everything should be very clean and uniform. Internship applications for companies vary. Some applications are posted as early as August; however, some are not posted until March. This is where making sure you know your research comes into play.
Do Your Research
Research is a key component of applications, interviews, internships, and success in the work place. When researching a company two of the most important things to look for are core values and dates. The first one being core values and employee implementation. In order for you to thrive in the work place you have to like where you work, you have to be comfortable. It is very important that the company’s core value align with your own personal core values. The second most important thing to always keep in mind are dates. When does the application open, more importantly when does it close? When is the next time I will have the opportunity to speak with someone face to face? When was the company established? Dates are important not only to meet deadlines, but also for history.
Always remember companies strive for excellence, and that can be acheived through lots of hard work. Good luck!