Amanda’s Corner: How to Land Your Ideal Internship

Ideal Internship
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amanda's cornerAs you might know, this year I’ve been interning at She’s the First (and loving every minute of it). But having been through search, I know that the mad dash to find the ideal internship can often be a tricky endeavor. I’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to get you off on the right path toward internship bliss:

Scope Them Out: What I’ve done in the past is brainstorm what I’m looking for in an internship: What skillsets do I want to learn that will rock my world? Projects to undertake? What kind of industry should I work in? Once I had those answers, I made a list of my fave companies and organizations and actively sought out their Careers page to see if they were hiring interns. Then, I kept track of what I was applying for on a good ol’ Google or Excel spreadsheet.

Make an Impression: If a company’s website does not say that they are hiring interns, this isn’t a sign that you should close out your tab on your web browser and find some other company that is hiring. Instead, what I have done is discover a point of contact for the company—either a general or employee email address—and just ask. Inquire if they are hiring. Just go for it! Cold emailing can be a little intimidating, but do you have to lose? I’ve had more success emailing companies and organizations that are on the smaller side because they have less red tape to get in touch with someone and are eager to grow, with the support of interns. (I can write in more detail about my experience with emailing companies in a later post!)

Connect Within and Beyond Your Circles: Who do you know? And what’s more, who can you know? There are so many amazing networking tools at our fingertips. Twitter and LinkedIn are my fave networking and relationship-building tools. I’ve had some incredible success stories of connecting, interacting with and building relationships with people and organizations on these two networking sites. If you don’t have accounts on them yet, get on there ASAP. If you play your cards right, a lot of cool internships can come across your radar there.

Location, Location, Location: When I put my feelers out for internships, I considered where I wanted to live. Would I be able to afford to live in XYZ place? A few of my summer internships ended up being in my hometown or virtual so that I could save money. Which brings me to my next point…

Paid vs. Unpaid:  Unpaid internships are a hot topic right now. I can’t speak to them based on experience because my internships have always been paid—either directly through the employer or through a grant that I received from college. In my opinion, paid internships are the way to go, but if you are considering an internship that is unpaid, keep in mind your budget and your other possible sources of income, like a part-time job.

Ace Your Internship Interview: Once you land an interview (I know you will!), check out my interviewing tips from last week to show your interviewer how you shine.

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