As a senior in college, if there is one thing I wish I knew ahead of time it would be how to prepare for getting an internship. If you’re a student, here are some Tips For Landing An Internship In College that can be useful for any major!
Applying to internships can be one of the most exciting, yet stressful times throughout your college experience. Internships are key for building your experience and preparing you for what’s to come after you graduate. To be honest, there is really no set time on when you should get your first internship because it’s never too early to start adding to your resume and finding connections that could potentially help you in the future. No matter what your major is, it is most likely that you will be dealing with competition from other students who are in the same boat, which is never the best feeling. Sometimes searching for internships for the right time and place can be tough, as well as dealing with rejection which is bound to happen to everyone at some point. For any worried college students out there, I have created some internship tips that will help reduce your stress levels and anxiety when starting the hunt for the perfect internship opportunity!
1. Be Yourself
This may seem like one of the more obvious internship tips, but being your true self is what will get you ahead during the application process. Most of the time people can tell if you’re not fully confident in what you have to say about yourself, so make sure you’re completely honest! Keep in mind that if you mess up, that’s completely okay and very normal. Job interviewers would much rather see the real you who can have fun with what they’re doing, even if that means laughing at your own self. They want to find potential interns that are genuine and confident, so don’t try to fit into whatever you think their “ideal” intern is. When people get in their end and aren’t fully confident in their capability, it will eventually show. Keep in mind you are working so hard studying your major, so never doubt your ability or compare it to your peers. If you are passionate about something, that should encourage you to be as open as you can be, because you are in charge of YOUR future, not anyone else.
2. Perfect Your Cover Letter
When applying to internships, submitting a cover letter is huge, even if the company does not specifically ask for one. Catering your cover letter to the company is one of the most important internship tips I can suggest because it simply shows that you care. If you think applying to many internships at one time can be very exhausting, trust me I agree. However, that little extra time spent perfecting your cover letter will be sure to pay off and make you stand out from the long lists of resumes that the company will look over. You can make the cover letter process a little more simple by making a standard format that you can save and then edit depending on the internship. Having the right format is crucial, so feel free to look online at some examples to help you out. When you fill out your cover letter, make sure you discuss how thrilled you would be to get the opportunity and why. Also, don’t be afraid to boost yourself up and show why you are confident that you would be the perfect candidate for the position!
3. Don’t Stress Too Much About Rejection
Whether you want to hear it or not, rejection is a huge part of life, especially when applying to internships and jobs. There are probably thousands of other students that also want that opportunity as much as you do, and that can be intimidating. It can be stressful to imagine how many applications a company gets on daily basis, and sometimes make you question if it’s even worth it. However, you cannot let this discourage you. Yes, there’s a lot of candidates, but there are also TONS of opportunities for interns you have yet to discover. If you get rejected by a company, think of it as a learning process. You can’t get too hung up on one internship because there are so many other ones out there that could even be a better fit for you. I agree job rejection is an awful feeling and can make you doubt everything about your abilities, but it is never a reason to think you aren’t capable enough!
4. Do Your Research
Out of all my internship tips, this is one that qualifies for any major out there. Expressing your knowledge and appreciation for the company you are applying to is key, as it shows that you are interested and would love to work for them. In addition to your research, try coming up with some of your own questions for the interviewer at the end of the interview. Showing your curiosity makes it seem like you really do care and want to know more. When doing your research, don’t be afraid to write down any questions you might have about the company that aren’t already listed online. You can also ask the interviewer personal questions about their time spent on the job, such as what they enjoy most about working there or what a week in their life looks like.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
The final one of my internship tips is something college students know can do, but don’t always actually do it. Your college has an advising department for a reason, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help regarding your search for internships! You can ask them for help with really anything, such as trying to find an internship in the first place if you don’t know where to begin. It is there job to provide you with the resources they have, so take advantage of it! Checking in with an advisor from time to time is always a great way to stay on top of your internship search and leave you feeling productive. Most schools also have a writing center of some sort that you can go to for help reviewing and perfecting your resume and cover letters.