The Internship Process: From Finding One to Your First Day

By Brittany Loeffler on November 8, 2017

There are many articles and blog posts scattered around the Internet telling you the do’s and don’ts of finding and applying to an internship. If you’re frustrated with having so many tabs open, you’ve come to the right place to get all you need to know about finding an internship to what to wear on your first day!

via Pixabay

What do you want to do?

Part of having an internship is to help you determine what career path you would like to follow. It’s very different to work in an industry than learning about it in a classroom. So, before you start applying to internships, take a few minutes, or days, to think about what exactly it is you want to do after college. It’s okay if you don’t have a definitive plan, but you should have some general direction.

Once you have decided on what you might want to pursue or at least try out, you are ready to start your internship search!

via Pixabay

Finding an internship

Now that you have an idea of what type of internship you would like to have, it’s time to find an open position! There are many ways to go about this. You can go the traditional route by applying to positions posted online. Though this way offers the most options, you are competing with hundreds, maybe thousands, of other applicants for the position.

If you are looking for a position where you have a connection or personal contact, you may want to go through your internship coordinator or professors. Your internship supervisor or coordinator’s job is to have connections with companies who actively look for interns each semester. With their help and recommendation, you will have a better chance of getting an interview for the position.

Rather than relying on other people’s connections, make your own at career and internship fairs. Many colleges and universities will host internship fairs at the beginning and end of the semester. Dress to impress and bring a copy of your resume to make a good impression on companies looking for interns right on campus.

via Pixabay

Applying for an internship

Once you’ve created a list of positions and companies to apply to, it’s time to start sending your resume and cover letter. Tailor your resume to each position you are applying to. It’s important to make your relevant experience stand out on your resume rather than your most recent experience. Keep it neat, simple, and one page in length.

As for your cover letter, this should also be short and sweet but also expand your resume. Go into detail about your experience and accomplishments in a few sentences. The general format of a cover letter is:

•1st paragraph: Introduction: Explain who you are and what position you are applying to

•2nd paragraph: Content: Elaborate on your resume, describe accomplishments and experience, talk specifically about the company you’re applying to

•3rd paragraph: Closing: Offer the reader your contact information and thank them for their time

via Pixabay

Follow up

Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes and applications every day. It’s difficult to keep track of who has applied and which candidates would be great in the position. To stand out from the crowd, make sure to follow up a week after you send in your resume. Give the office a call to check on the status or just to make them aware that you have applied.

Keep being persistent and don’t stop calling until they tell you the position has been filled or until they give you an interview.

via Pixabay

The interview

Congratulations! After calling once a week and following up, you’ve landed an interview for the internship. This is the make or break to get the position. Come dressed in business professional clothing along with copies of your resume and a list of references. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer about the position and company at the end of the interview. Practice your answers and interview etiquette with your career center at school or with a friend.

During the interview, it is important to speak clearly, slowly, and to take your time answering the interviewer’s questions. Make sure to keep eye contact with the interviewer and pay attention to what they are saying.

After your interview, make sure to send them a “Thank You” email in the next 24 hours. This separates you from other interviewees and shows that you are respectable and professional.

via Pixabay

Your first day

You aced your interview and they called to tell you the position is yours! After rearranging some classes, having the internship approved for credit, and scheduling your hours, it’s your first day in the office. Go in with a positive attitude! Don’t be nervous; everyone will make mistakes on their first day.

Make sure to dress in business casual clothing, depending on the position, and to bring a pen and notebook to take notes during the day.

The process

The process of getting an internship is long and tedious, but with persistence and dedication, you will be sure to land one! If you take all of these necessary steps, you will have an internship in no time.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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