Spring semester is coming to a close and we all know what that means… It’s internship time! Now, I’m not going to bore you with all of the reasons why you need an internship, but I will give you the three best tips to finding a fantastic internship. Jessica tested. Jessica approved.
1. Start early & apply everywhere!
I know lots of people think that March (or before) is too early to think about internships. Au contraire! Early spring is the perfect time to begin your search for what you want to do with your summer. Websites like idealist.org, internships.com, indeed.com and more can be great resources if you have a specific job field or geographic location in mind.
Bonus Tip: Often times, smaller organizations like non-profits don’t have their internship or job opportunities listed. Reach out via email or phone to ask about potential job shadowing or internship opportunities with the company.
2. Reach out to anyone and everyone
Believe it or not, most people like helping others. And if done properly, that’s what networking is. However, the key to networking is to bring something to the table. Reciprocity matters!
A great way to get in touch with people that you may not necessarily know or have a connection to is by asking for an informational interview. During those conversations, you should seek career advice and general information about what the person’s career path has been like. Remember, this is just to pick the other person’s brain and not to ask for a job or internship.
Bonus Tip: Start local! There are a ton of untapped resources right in your own neighborhood. Just think of how much more affordable it would be to live at home, have a cheaper commute, and worry less about overall expenditures (especially if money is a major factor).
3. Keep in touch
This tip is piggy-backing off of tip number two, but it’s equally important! Remembering to send a thank you email within 24 hours of an informational interview is crucial and shows that you appreciated the person taking time out of his or her day to speak with you. It’s best to follow up every one and a half to three months when you have a major update!
Bonus Tip: Another sentimental gesture is to send a real letter after meeting with someone. It shows that you spent some time to write out a message and shows how thoughtful you can be. It’ll definitely make a statement!
In my case, I spoke with a college alumna who works at CBS News in October and followed up with her regularly prior to going abroad in Madrid. She suggested that I send her my resume because it couldn’t hurt to apply for an internship with CBS. Soon after interviewing with the internship coordinator, I was offered a position as a newsroom intern!
I hope that with these tips, lots of perseverance, and a great cover letter/resume someone out there lands a fantastic internship!
Just hangin’ with host of CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley
Me & my fellow interns!