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Landing Your Dream Internship

By Rebekah Skeens
On April 25, 2018

Your professors and advisors are one of your best resources when trying to land an internship.
Photo Courtesy of Utah Education Network

For college students, finding that one internship that not only helps you excel, but is also one you desire can become an overwhelming task. To successfully land your dream internship, it is more than only having a great resume or an impeccable application.

When you are planning for your internship, there are several considerations to be made. The process begins with the application and ends with the interview process. A simple mistake could ruin the process, so it is crucial to strategically plan, to avoid any mishaps.

Before anything else, the first step to getting the internship you truly want is that you must be resilient. According to Alexander Smith of USA Today College, you should expect to be rejected by 85 percent of the internships you apply for. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that if you truly want a position, you must face every step with confidence in the mindset that you will accomplish it perfectly. If you are rejected from a position, reach out to the organization or company and ask how you can improve your resume and interview process. More often than not, coordinators will be more than happy to assist you with feedback on how you can receive similar positions.

If you are looking for an internship for your junior or senior year, Samantha Bowers of the Odyssey suggests looking for positions a year in advance. Deadlines to apply usually come sooner than you expect, so it is important to know how much time you have to prepare for the application process. Have a rough draft of your cover letter, resume, and other documents needed to apply, and it will be easier to correct when the time comes.

Bowers also suggests having a generous supply of reference letters from professors or previous employers. The more of these you have in your possession, the less time you will have to spend looking for someone to write one for you quickly. Give ample time for them to write you a well-written letter that will show your future employers what you are capable of and what type of personality you convey. Your advisors and professors are one of your best resources, so do not hesitate to ask them for assistance.

Like reaching out to college professors for assistance, using your connections is a huge factor in if you will land that internship or not. Kathryn Williams, Business Researcher of Vanderbilt University states, “With access to the internet, sometimes we forget that there are even better accessible resources.”

Our closest friends, family members, and previous teachers could potentially connect you to the CEO of the company you would like to internship for. Before you know it, you have landed the position of your dreams. As the old saying goes, sometimes it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. Remember to use your connections and use LinkedIn for even further assistance in the hiring process.

Brian White, professional tutor with Varsity Tutors, shares tips to avoid making a mistake once you have received an interview. First, time is an important factor. Do not be late to the interview or keep your employer waiting. You risk coming across as unreliable. Another common mistake many make is not selling themselves. Show the company what you can offer to them. Do not rely on your paperwork to tell your story. Tell the interviewer what abilities you have and do not be afraid to brag about your clever work.

Applying for your first internship can be overwhelming, but if you put in the work and research and craft satisfactory applications, you are well on your way. Remember that while you might not succeed the first time, everyone does occasionally. The goal is to keep pursuing it, and you will surely land the internship of your dreams.

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