How to snag your summer internship

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor

As the academic year comes to a close, many students begin to ask this question: “What’s next?”

Those nearly three months between the spring and fall semesters can be spent a number of ways. Maybe you’ll spend it on a beach in an exotic country. Maybe you’ll spend it at your high school summer job. If you want to spend your summer enriching your future, then consider interning.

An internship is not only the best way to brand yourself for future employers, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. USNews said in an article that “university officials and employers almost universally maintain that partaking in an internship — or several, which sets a student apart from his or her peers even more — before graduation is integral to finding meaningful employment in today’s seemingly impenetrable job market.” So, both colleges and employers recognize the crucial part that internships play.

The first step to securing an internship is to have an excellent resume. The purpose of a resume is to highlight experiences you have that correspond to work ethic and work experience. Essentially, a resume shows employers that you are the best candidate for their company. After you finish creating it, try to have at least three people, including a counselor in the career center, review your resume. Also, consider having a cover letter and personal statement that clearly shows your future goals and current endeavors.

After you have your materials, it’s time to start the internship hunt. The university’s Pirate-link system can narrow down potential jobs and internships in their database, and email you new ones whenever they appear. You can access your Pirate-link account by first signing up for an appointment in the career center. The system also will email you about companies that visit the university.

Some other great resources for finding internships are indeed.com, LinkedIn and even social media. Yes, social media is for more than just cute selfies and cat videos. It can potentially help you land your dream job. Follow the companies you’re interested in on social media and keep your eyes peeled for when they post about their internships.

After you’ve found an internship that meets your interest, apply! Make sure to follow all of the instructions for the application. Don’t fabricate any information about yourself. If you impress the reviewer enough, you may be invited to interview for the company

An interview can make or break your career efforts. The key is preparation. Depending on the company, interviews can take place over the phone, through video or Skype or in-person. If in-person, try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your interview. If through phone or Skype, make sure you’re in a quiet place with strong cellular connection. Days before the interview, research the company. By the time of your interview, make sure you know at least this information: What is the company’s purpose? Who founded the company and when did they found it? Has the company been in the news lately for anything?

Waiting for the company’s decision is the best/worst part of the process. You will get a number of “no’s,” but one “yes” could change your life.

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