Internships: what everyone wants but not always the easiest thing to attain. I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s an art, not a science. It’s not an easy process, but with the right mindset and a little bit of risk, you will be able to find one that you love.
Here are a few tips that you can set yourself up for success and finding the perfect internship:
- It’s what you know AND who you know. The latter part of this sentence is the most important aspect of this phrase. I found my first internship at the Wex on my own, but my current position at Athletics was actually previously held by my peer mentor in PRSSA. Developing relationships with older students, professionals in your work environment and faculty will help you to stay informed and aware of the potential opportunities out there.
- Surf the web for internships, but look in the right places. Although I have never accepted an offer I had from an online database system, I recommend using them to find internships that are in your area, especially if you are interested in the public relations, marketing or communications field. Websites like indeed.com, InternQueen.com and mediabistro.com are excellent places to start. Also, following companies you are interested in on LinkedIn is a helpful source of internship opportunities.
- Be involved in a pre-professional organization. I have been involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America since I was a freshman at Ohio State. Being involved in a pre-professional organization like this has enabled me to network with professionals in my field and gain an understanding of the industry, job climate and job responsibilities.
- Realize that your first internship may not be exactly what you want, but it is just the first rung on the ladder. Having some experience is better than sitting at home watching Netflix all day. Get out in the world and make it happen. People will pay attention to your hard work and help you to achieve your goals.