As the semester comes to an end, finals are coming up and summer break is within reach. While some will be "summertime lovin'" on the beach or catching up on their sleep, others are in internship mode.
The summer is a perfect time to apply for internships and get work experience. With no classes to attend, you can dedicate all your time to learning about what you actually want to do with your life.
Here are just some of the ways you can set your self up for success and seize that perfect opportunity.
1. Research Your Field
Whether it's politics, writing, digital media or even art, every field has a stepping stone. The more you explore your field, the more you learn about the different opportunities available when you look to pursue it in the form of a career. Although this may seem tedious, you will learn more about yourself and what makes you love the field you study so much. Not to mention you might even learn something new, which puts yourself ahead of the game when looking for a particular internship.
2. Prepare A Resume
This is crucial because you have to treat an internship the same way you would treat applying for a job. Your resume should either consist of your most recent jobs or the jobs that best apply to the position you are applying to. Worried about lack of experience? Do not stress: the difference between a job and an internship is that the internship is meant to give you the experience you need, not discourage you because you don't come with any. Look to include some of your most significant achievements and academic success. Internships love good grades.
3. Use the Writing Center As Much As Possible
With only a few weeks left in school, I know that getting caught up in finals is easy. But if you are going to the writing center to get your final paper revised, why not bring a copy of your resume while you are at it? Nearly every, if not all, college campus has a writing center that has people who specialize in helping students in every way possible inside and outside of the classroom. Don't let that resource go to waste.
4. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Once you start looking into an internship, don't lose focus on it. Due dates are huge and submitting late not only looks bad on your part, but it puts you at a disadvantage against other applicants. Treat an internship application like a homework assignment. The sooner you finish it, the better you feel about the submission.
5. Don't Put Your Eggs All In One Basket
A lot of times, people get fixated on a particular position they want or a particular company they would like to work with, and that is not a bad thing. Definitely be confident and go for what you want. But companies get tons of applicants daily and can take a while to respond, if they even do at all. With that, you want to have a Plan B or even a Plan C just in case things fall through because while you're waiting around for one response, other opportunities are passing by.
6. Do Your Homework
After a full semester of homework and tests, I'm sure summer break sounds like the last time anyone would want to be doing "homework." What I mean, though, is to look into the companies you would like to intern for. The more knowledgeable you are about them, the better chance you have of fitting the mold they want in an intern. Knowing your subject gives you a better chance in other walks of life, and this is no different. Learn all you can and when you feel like you have learned all you can, learn some more.
7. Practice Interviews
You don't need some fancy script or programmed answers to do great at an interview. Be genuine and tell them how you truly feel. It does not hurt to practice with a friend and use some sample questions you might see when you go into a real interview. You only get one chance at a first impression, so you want to make the most of it.
8. Stay Confident
It is really easy to get discouraged when you don't get a call back or you feel like you are not qualified. You cannot let that stop you from trying, because it only takes one company to like you to get where you want to go. It is not about how many companies you apply to, how fast they respond or even how many responses you get. It is about the one company that does say yes and knowing you put your best foot forward.
9. The More, The Merrier
Why stop at only one internship? Don't get me wrong, if one internship is already working you 4-5 days a week and your week is booked, by all means, run with what you got. But if you see yourself still having a bunch of free time with one internship, maybe try another. There is no such thing as too much experience and there is always something to learn. Internships are meant to better you and teach you about your field in ways you can't on your own. By having more than one internship, you get to see different perspectives and learn different things within your field that only will better prepare you for your future.
10. Last But Not Least, Have Fun With It
Getting an internship should not be stressful. It should be a fun experience just as much as it is a learning experience. Take the time to enjoy yourself, because an internship is a snapshot of the life you might have post-graduation. Seeing what your future could be like and learning how to be the best possible at what you love to do should be enjoyable. Plus, I mean, it is summer.