I've always been ahead of my time. In 6th grade, I was thinking about where I wanted to end up. I dreamt of the bright lights of a big city and all that came with it. I also knew that wouldn't come without a lot of hard work and persistence. It wouldn't come without valuable work experience. When I started college, I knew I had to begin looking for internships. Here's some advice on how to score that dream internship:
1. Reach out, but to an extent.
Whether it's on LinkedIn or Facebook, if you come across someone who works for your dream company, send them a message. Tell them who you are, where you're from and ask them about how they were successful at that company. The worst-case scenario is they don't reply, but at least you tried. Be careful though, not to reach out nine times in a given week. Even if you can make a small connection on LinkedIn, when it comes time to look at your application, it could really make all the difference.
2. Perfect your resumé.
Talk to your internship coordinator. Talk to the career office at your school. Learn the proper formatting of a resumé. Learn active voice over passive voice. In some companies, if the resumé they choose to look at doesn't follow a correct format, it could mean an automatic no.
3. Get your name out there.
If you want to go into journalism, get your name published. If you want to go into business, join a business fraternity or club. Make sure that professionals in your dream field know you. It's not just about who you know, it's all about who knows you.
4. Go to networking events.
Schools have networking events all the time: go to them. It's not just another way to get your name out there on paper, but in person. Make human connections with people. It'll tell you a lot about yourself and a lot about the person you want to be.
5. Make connections with your professors.
Go to office hours once and they'll remember you. If you let them know your goals, they'll help. Why do you think they got into teaching? They're there for a reason. Learn from them professionally too, don't just listen to the lectures.
6. Prepare for your interviews.
Don't go into an internship interview blind-sighted. If you're lucky enough to score an interview, study the company. Learn their mission statement. Read the description of what and who they're looking for and tie it into your answers.
7. Start applications early.
Start now. Start figuring out what you can afford, where you want to be and what you want to be doing. Look at postings from last year to gain an idea and email the coordinator to get your name out there early.