Internships are a great way to advance your career path. The experiences you have in an internship can show you what you enjoy doing and you’ll learn so much along the way. But first, you have to find your dream internship.
Finding your dream internship can seem like an overwhelming process. You have to know what type of internship you’re looking for, fill out the application properly so you can stand out in a sea of applicants and do rounds of interviews. Here are some tips to help you secure an internship that might just change your life.
How to find your internship
When looking for an internship, be sure to stay open minded about opportunities that may come your way! Be open to exploring different opportunities because you never know what door an opportunity may open.
- Use. Your. Network. It can be awkward to ask a friend for a favor, but they can give you vital connections! Your family and friends are always rooting for you, let them help you along the way. It might lead to other opportunities!
- Save what you’ve written for all of your applications. You might see the same questions again and you can always look back at what you’ve written before.
- Talk to people who currently work there. Using your LinkedIn, connect with current employees. They might be willing to talk to you about their experiences. Remember, it’s all about standing out!
What to do when applying
The application part of the overall process is critical, this is your chance to make a first impression. Companies want to see that you care enough to put time into applying to an internship with them.
Keep in mind that, though restrictions may apply, those who are undocumented still have opportunities. Be sure to do your research when applying, and don’t let those opportunities slip away. Check out this resource and this one to learn more.
- Pay attention to application requirements/deadlines.
- Apply to as many internships as possible because it’s a competitive space
- Use search engines like Google, Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Be sure to create a LinkedIn account because some companies and organizations like to see your professional profile.
What to ask during an interview
When an interviewer asks you a question, make sure to tie it back to your experiences. If you don’t have as much experience, emphasize that you’re willing to learn. And yes, you’ll be asked quite a few questions during your interview. But make sure to ask some of your own at the end! This is your chance to show them just how interested you are in the company or organization.
- What does a typical day look like for internships working for this organization? What projects or goals in this organization striving towards in the near future?
- Ask them to describe the ideal candidate for this internship (qualifications, experience, values)
- Will I be working independently or working closely with other interns as a team?
What to do after the interview
After you’ve gone through the interviewing process, you can let out a sigh of relief. But your work isn’t done just yet. It’s critical that you follow up with the person who interviewed you as soon as possible. Again, you want to stand out, and part of that is being memorable.
- Email the person who interviewed you to say thank you for the opportunity and reiterate your interest.
- If you get the position, here are a few important things to know: how to communicate with supervisor, how to set boundaries, and how to speak up for yourself.
- Make sure to ask for feedback so you can grow throughout your internship.
- If you were passed up for the opportunity, ask what you could have done differently so you’ll be prepared next time.
Above all else, make sure to advocate for yourself throughout every part of the process. You’ve got this!