Often with the start of Spring semester brings lots of talk and Pinterest searches for "Summer Internship Tips". Now is the time to figure out what you need to have a successful internship search and experience.
Internship season or not, having your own personal business cards is a super important tip for any up and coming professional. You'll never know when you will run into a potential employer, internship recruiter, or somebody who would like to connect further and you end up exchanging info. Super simple but is actually imperative if you want to be taken as a serious professional candidate.
I don't know how much easier it can get these days to network and find internships/job opportunities. With platforms like LinkedIn, you have the capability to to display your accomplishments and personal brand to future employers, partners, and connections. LinkedIn is an emerging networking gold-mine!! Take advantage of it and start reaching out to either professionals you admire, hopeful future employers, and peers. This shows initiative, genuine interest and you learn to form relationships with everyone.
Dress for the job you want
This is yet another opportunity to show who you are. Know the job you want and dress accordingly. Just because you are a 20 year old college girl doesn't mean you should wear that dress you just wore to that Friday night party. Dress to impress. Even if it's a creative position that might have more leniency, you should still dress professionally but you have the capability to add your own flare to it.
Internships don't just fall in your lap. If you want something go and work for it. Also, use this opportunity to think outside the box and make yourself stand out. If everyone is applying for similar internships, yes, still apply if it's something you want, but be creative and search out other unique positions.
Make connections + network with everyone
When I say everyone I mean EVERYONE. You don't know who they know or what advice they can give you, even if they themselves aren't some high flying CEO. Learning to make connections with everyone is the greatest thing you can do for your career as well as personal development.
If you made a good impression & formed a relationship, most professors, RA's, past employers, internship advisers & mentors are happy to be a person of contact on your resume or even can write up a letter of rec. The biggest mistake most make (and yes, I have done this before) is that they don't ask!!!
Check social media
With the easy access to everything now a days, most people will look you up on the internet before meeting with you. What people see online actually plays a big role on how they perceive you. Keep this in mind before clicking every "share" button. Again, your are preparing for the career and future you want.
Since internship season is coming up, campuses will be full of recruiters and internship fairs. Having an updated resume on hand makes it professional and convenient for everyone. You might get contacted out of the blue, so you want to be prepared to email off your resume before that noon deadline.
If you have your sight set on a particular job/internship, then reach out. I can say this from experience. Early December I reached out to an organization media department asking if they were open to adding an intern to their team. The director emailed right back thanking me for reaching out and confirmed a possibility of adding an intern. He told me to contact him again closer to the end of my Spring semester. I followed up in April and he offered me a summer internship in the media office. You see, I would never have gotten that opportunity or made those summer connections if I didn't first reach out. This particular organization doesn't advertise for intern positions so most never even thought to ask. But if you are looking to gain experience early on and stand out, then you have to be creative and courageous.
This goes for what you tell yourself and how you present yourself. Applying for internships require you to have a passion for that field and not something you are pursuing because of the status, the fact that everyone is doing it, and most importantly because it's expected of you. You have to do this for you and what you want for your future.
Last but not least, this season of your life should be a fond memory to look back on. It can be stressful but try and keep the big picture in mind of what getting this internship could do for you.