As spring semester of university drew to a close, I found myself bored with the idea of working all summer at a remedial job to save up for school. In an attempt to create a more exciting summer, I applied to multiple companies, both start-up and established, for a 3 month long internship. I landed one, absolutely loved it, and now I’m here to give you my tips I learned along the way in the application process.
To a lot of prospective interns, the initial question “where do I apply?” can be the most daunting task. There are ultimately two ways to go about this. The first option is to apply to something that goes hand in hand with your major in university or college. If you’re a Marketing major, you’d want to apply to a marketing or social media marketing agency that will give you insight to what your field of work will be. The second option (which I did) is applying to an internship for something you enjoy as a hobby or something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you’re an Accounting major who loves fashion. You can apply to an internship at a fashion company or agency, or with a small-business designer who needs a helping hand. This kind of internship can simply just be a lot of fun, or could re-route what you want to do in the future!
Usually, internships correspond with semesters, so the best time to apply for a fall internship would be September, for a spring internship: December, and so on. Many companies also do summer internships as well that can be extremely rewarding (sometimes paid!) and most schools count credit towards these.
While the application process can still be scary, it’s easier than you think. If you want to go the old-fashioned way, try taking a trip to multi-office spaces in the city such as WeWork or Workville and placing an ad in the lobby. Hundreds of start-up companies work in these buildings and probably the same amount of interns! Start-up companies love interns, and will be able to nurture you and teach you more in the long run.
There are also websites like Internships.com or even LinkedIn can place you with a big or small company by submitting your pre-uploaded resume with the click of a button.
Being able to portray your sense of self before a brand or company even gets to interview you is the hardest but most exciting part of applying for internships. Any piece of information that exhibits creativity, leadership, kindness, or academic success are ones you want to include on your resume. Try to be courteous and professional on your cover letter, but not cold or robotic. Find a way to stand out so that they remember you—this is what drives them to want to meet you in person. Your personality—beyond your grades or accomplishments—is going to be the deciding factor on whether or not you become an intern, so let that shine through.
An internship can be one of the most useful tools you’ll ever encounter when it comes to preparing for your future. You can gain experience and exposure in the field you are currently studying, or just have some fun while helping out a small company. As well as experience, Internships are a great way to make friends. Whether you’re working with other students, or creating relationships with adults who can help you when you need a full-time job in the real world.
Taking up an internship has the ability to open new doors for students and undergrads, while also providing new perspectives, new ideas and, possibly, a new life direction. By following the tips above, and being your most authentic self, your dream internship can be yours, and pave the way for a fun and successful semester.
Edited by Brianna Arrighi