The Internship Search: Tips & Realities

Hello everyone! My name is Austin Hennig and I am a marketing major who will be entering my senior year at The Ohio State University. This summer I will be a marketing intern for Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers and parent company to brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Lipton Tea, and Axe. I am really looking forward to blogging and sharing my experiences and hope it may benefit you during your time at Fisher. I would like to start off with some hard roads I faced in my search and a couple of things I did to finally secure a position.

“No.”

If you’re a college student seeking an internship, then you have probably heard some variation of this word during your search. You see a job posting, it seems like the perfect fit for you, you begin to look ahead to what a fun summer it will be, then before you know it they have decided to go with another candidate. Darn. This was surely my story for a long period of time. It’s easy to let a rejection impact your thought process and hinder your confidence, and if more than one comes in, you might find yourself thinking “I’ll never get one” or “I’ll just work at camp for the sixth straight year.” However, it does not have to be like this, and these were two pivotal actions and techniques I used that turned “No’s” into that sweet “Yes.”

USE THE RESOURCES THAT FISHER HAS TO OFFER!

The most advantageous choice I made in my internship search was to utilize the resources that Fisher and the Office of Career Management (OCM) provided. Many students do not realize the full scope of what the coaches have to offer and are thus missing out on potential tips and guidance. Not having the sharpest resume, I went to the the Peer Career Coaches and they did an extraordinary job of guiding me to redesign it, as well as upgrade it. Another time I went to them and they provided me with ways to connect with alumni on LinkedIn and identified websites that would be useful in my search, which is where I came across the application for Unilever. Another crucial tool I used was the QUIC modules and interview. The mock interview was able to highlight my strengths of interviewing, but more importantly we were able to identify what I needed to work on and exactly how to improve in that area. These resources proved to be an immense benefit to me and I would go ahead and say that I would not be interning anywhere had I not gone to the OCM for help.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

After you have gone to the OCM for guidance and have applied for potential internships, it’s time to focus on interviewing. Have you ever been listening to a presentation that you could clearly tell the speaker didn’t prepare for? An interview is much the same way, and they will be able to see right through you if you haven’t done your research and prepared. Use the feedback you have been given from the QUIC interview to improve yourself where you need it. Do not just look up facts about the company and memorize their values and beliefs. Make sure however to use those values to highlight past working experiences and connect the two. Without directly saying it, you will be showing that you have done the research, spent time preparing, and have a genuine interest in the company. The interview is the time to show yourself off, so make sure to put all you have to offer out there. Once you have prepared for just about everything, you will find that your interview feels much more like a conversation, which is going to ease your nerves and enable you to deliver a lasting impression in the interviewers mind. The more time you put in to prepare, the more you will thank yourself down the road as each interview gets easier and easier.

Of course this is no guarantee to land an internship and you might be doing these very things and not finding success. However, it is the persistence to achieve that will get you to where you want to be. It may not be at the company you envisioned, but there is a position out there with your name on it. Take “No” as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of letting it break down your confidence and belief in yourself. Searching for an internship is grueling, but rewarding when that offer finally comes through and makes it all worth it. I hope you take away some lessons from this and apply them to your own internship search to yield your own desirable results.

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