Internships serve as an important stepping stone in a young professional’s career. They offer you valuable experience and insight, preparing you for your post-grad journey. But how do you search for such an experience?
For me, the internship search illuminates a mixture of excitement and anxiety. It’s as if you have endless yet limited possibilities all in one. Embarking on your internship quest, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming and uncertain. Where do I begin? Where do I look? What are my odds? These are all pressing questions that can flood one’s mind — but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Instead of going in blind and unsure, there are necessary steps you can take that will not only give you the confidence and reassurance needed but will set you up for success. Below are five tried and true ways to help you rock your internship search:
A summer internship may seem far away, leading many people to procrastinate their search until the middle of spring. In reality, you need to start now. Every company is different — some with deadlines in May and others in January. Do your research, have your resume and cover letter ready to go and know exactly what you need to do and when the deadline is.
With so many opportunities, details and networks to keep up with, it’s easy to lose track of your internship search. This is where organization comes in handy. Get organized by creating a personal tracker using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to add columns like “company,” “location” and “deadline.” This will allow you to keep important information related to your search in one place.
Tip: If you have no idea where to start, The Prepary has a free template you can use to start organizing right away.
Exhaust all resources.
You never know where and how you’ll come across an internship opportunity. Take advantage of the resources displayed in the infographic below to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
Apply, apply and apply again.
I strongly encourage you to apply for as many opportunities as you can. Internships are extremely competitive, which is an unfortunate reality for us all. But don’t let this truth discourage you! Applying for more internships is only going to increase your chances, not hurt them.
No matter what, the best thing you can do as you begin your internship journey is to continue with optimism. It’s too easy to become overwhelmingly discouraged but instead of admitting defeat, let any rejection only motivate you.
So remember the key takeaways: planning is key, organization is necessary, explore every available resource, apply for as many opportunities as you can and finally, remain hopeful. I promise these five tips will ease the anxiety associated with your search, making this process more exciting and beneficial for you, as it should be. Now, get to work.
Skylar Spencer is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in computing tech and applications at The University of Alabama. She serves as a Capstone Agency media relations associate on the PRSSA National account.