My first internship was as a sophomore with a local PR company called MediaSource as a Media Measurement and Analysis intern in spring of 2016. This past summer, I accepted a Brand Marketing internship with PepsiCo in Dallas, Texas. After searching, applying and interviewing countless times, here are my eight tips on how to land the internship you deserve.
Know your strengths
Before you start looking for an internship, it’s important to know your strengths. Are you a good presenter? Good at analysis? A good researcher? Choose one that includes your strengths, and that also helps you strengthen some of your weaknesses.
Where to look
Always be aware of the resources available to you as a college student. Search through FisherConnect or ask your career advisor if they know of any beneficial opportunities. If you have a specific company in mind, apply directly through the company’s website and somehow try and connect with an individual who currently works at the company. Job search websites, such as internships.com and LinkedIn.com, can also be helpful.
What do you want?
It’s important to know what you want to get from an internship before you go into it. As a student you should want to be part of a hands-on experience rather than doing mindless busy work. The best advice I’ve ever received from a mentor? Make a list of things you’d like to get from an internship before you start and make it your duty to achieve all of them before the end.
The process is intimidating. With many different candidates, it’s easy to get discouraged. That being said, there are many other candidates feeling the exact same way you are. Don’t be afraid to stand out! Attend the career fair, take a deep breath, introduce yourself to company representatives and set yourself apart from the other candidates. Make sure the recruiters don’t forget your name.
It’s very easy go into the internship process with tunnel vision. Many students go into the process only wanting to work for one specific company, failing to research what else is out there. Be flexible! It’s okay to know what you want, but always be willing to adjust and look for opportunities in other places.
You got the interview, now what?
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Know what the company does and what they stand for. Going into an interview with no prior research on the company looks bad if your interviewer asks you a basic company question.
Be excited that you’ve made it this far! Enthusiasm shows the company that you’re excited to be there and willing to tackle whatever they may throw at you. Smile and be confident. Nerves are natural, but just be yourself!
Eyes on the prize
Know how the internship will align with your future career goals. The whole point of an internship is to get the professional experience that you need for your career. Before you go into an interview, make sure you know exactly you’ll be doing throughout the internship and how this will prepare you for the future. Knowing how the opportunity aligns with your career goals will make the, “Why are you interested in this position?” interview question a breeze.
Best of luck to everyone as internship season is approaching! Go put your best foot forward and land it!