How to get the right internship?
And how to get the most out of it
For college students today, scoring well in finals, picking majors and prepping for a Master’s degree is not enough. To make it big in the industry of their choice, scoring that right internship in their college years could be a game-changer.
But getting one of those is not a cakewalk and knowing which one to get and how to go about it could be a source of stress for most students.
Here are some tips on how to get your feet wet in the field of your choice and how to make sure you’re getting the most out of the opportunity.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Preliminary steps to any process, research about what field of work do you want your internship to be in, what role would be most preferable for you and what organisations would be able to offer them to you. Once, you have narrowed them down, focus on the pros and cons of each one. Whether it is a start up, an established company, a freelance project; know about their background, be informed about the kind of work they do and if your skill set matches it. Be focussed on your goals and expectations.
RESUME & COVER LETTER
More often than not, students fail to make an impact on the hiring team due to the lack of a personal element in their application. Resume is great to represent your work and experience but organisations are on the lookout for that drive and ambition that a mere degree won’t cut. Always attach a cover letter to showcase your personal background and relate your professional achievements with the same.
Once you have clarity over the kind of role you want to take over and at what organisation, you need to begin working on projects and skills that can make you a valuable candidate for the internship.For example, it is unlikely that a leading daily newspaper will hire you as an in intern if you have absolutely no experience in writing or reporting. So, having worked with your school or college newspaper or on a blog may help you set yourself up.
Well, if you contact the CEO of the organisation with your resume, he will put it in the trash long before you can say your hello. It is essential to know whom to contact for your internship. Most likely, it should be the HR department. However, there’s nothing wrong in keeping your feelers out and speak openly to all that you meet that you’re looking to add to your learning experience. In most cases you can land with the perfect opportunity just from within your network.
It would be unreasonable of you to expect a quick reply; companies may get tens of applications everyday. It is advisable to follow up. To show them that you really are passionate about the kind of work they do and you are dedicatedly willing to work with them. But you also don’t need to spam them time and again. A week is usually a good time to wait between follow up emails.
Now that you know how to get one, it is essential to know how to keep it and how to make the most of it because the skills you develop in the industry will mould your career and will give you greater clarity about what your future endeavours.
FOCUS ON THE JOB, NOT THE POSITION
Interns often get carried away with their position in the organisation and not enough in the kind of job they are doing. It is completely okay to go out of your way and explore something more. As an intern, you’re there to learn, take initiative, take advantage of opportunities and don’t focus on ‘how this doesn’t fit my job brief’.
DRESS THE PART
Create the image you want to project in the work environment. Be it through your outfit, your demeanour in the work space or your ethics. Your work will speak for itself but make sure your personality is enhancing it as well.
In the real world, your success depends on your determination. Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there for the world to find and appreciate you. Don’t block your experiences, welcome them.
Hope you enjoyed our little tips and we welcome your inputs and look forward to answering any questions that you might have.