Land Great Internships for College Students
By Ariana Finlayson
March 20, 2009
Internships for college students help build a work experience that sets you on the right foot down your career path.
If you had asked me four semesters ago, I definitely would not have thought I was capable of doing half the things I have. That’s what is pretty neat about getting older: You have the opportunity to reflect back on where you were in your life, and compare it to where you are now. And usually, you see a lot of growth!
As a print journalism major, I’ve been fortunate enough to have held internships at CosmoGIRL!, Parenting and Cosmopolitan, with another internship in the works for this spring.
My major only requires me to have one internship, but I chose to take three. Why? Because for me, it comes down to gathering as much experience as possible, learning different departments of a magazine, and meeting editors and establishing meaningful connections with them.
Below, I’ve crafted some tips for the three stages of “internshipping”:
• Looking for an internship/The internship search
• What to do once you’re there
1. Looking for an internship/The internship search
• Shape up your resume: Meet with a career counselor or advisor at your school. Many times, Web sites have resume templates or offer tools to build your resume from scratch.
• Use your resources. Often, meeting up with an alum in your career field is a great way to get your foot in the door. If the alum is very fond of their alma mater, they will also be fond of you. Ask your academic advisor is he or she knows of any opportunities. Check around your campus. Is it possible to take your internship without even stepping far outside the classroom? Lastly, scope out networking events that may be happening in your area. If you go, dress nicely and bring business cards.
• Do your research: Make it clear to the employer that you know about their company. When you know about the company, you will feel more comfortable and it will reflect in your resume. Bonus: If you get invited back for an interview, you will already be semi-prepared.
• Take care of your cover letter: Keep it precise and concise! A lot of companies accept cover letters and resumes through e-mail now, so make sure you spellcheck before you send it. (Speaking of e-mail, use an address that isn’t “HotTstud4U@blahblah.com.”) Your cover letter will be your point of entry, so let them know your availability, major, school year and experience, but be careful not to repeat your resume. Tell them about your strengths and how you can help them.
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