How do I find an internship?
There are infinite ways to go about this, but we’ve provided some basic recommendations below.
1. Pick an appropriate location
- Think about places it would be feasible for you to live. Do you have a grandparent in Texas? An old mission companion in D.C.? While internships in New York City or San Francisco can be great, you should be mindful of housing costs in the location of your internship. Since many internships are for college credit and not cash, you’ll want to find a place that you can reasonably live and survive without taking out another loan.
2. Research companies in your field of study and location of interest
- You should start by looking up websites and HR contacts for the agencies/organizations/businesses you are interested in. As you become familiar with the company ahead of time, you can narrow your search to places that have the office culture/environment you’re looking for. If you’re not interested in Healthcare PR, don’t apply to an internship at a hospital. Being familiar with a company before you interview also gives you a leg up on your competition.
- Once you’ve decided on a few locations, think about the resources in that area. Is there a university job site you could look on for that area? Have you inquired with those on your social media network? People are always wanting to help their friends. If you have family/friends in Arizona, start by asking them if they know of anything!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask
- If you do not see any internships available online, ask someone! Some places don’t know they need an intern until someone asks them to be one. You can also explore your current professional network. Ask your friends, family and co-workers if they know of anyone looking for a(n) ____ intern. Be professional throughout all your communications and requests, but never be afraid to tell people you’re looking for an internship.
4. Perfecting your application
- Before you apply, make sure to get as much information about the position and application as possible. The more you know, the more you can cater your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to fit the needs of your potential employers. Have several people look over your application materials to ensure there are no typos. If you’d like, you can do a mock-interview with Colton Griffiths in Career Services (2410 WSC). He also does resume and cover letter critiques throughout the semester in both 2410 WSC and 280 BRMB.
5. Interview with Confidence
- Be sure to represent yourself well to your potential future employer. A firm handshake, well groomed hair and professional attire are all things you can be judged on before you even open your mouth. Tips on how to dress for an interview, commonly asked interview questions, and other helpful resources are available here.
6. Follow up
- If interviewed, be sure to send a “Thank-you” note within 24 hours. Hand-written is great, but at the very least, an email. If you are not contacted by the company within 10 days of the application deadline, call or email to check on the status of your application. If the position has been filled, be gracious and ask about other opportunities within the company or how you could improve for future applications.
7. APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!
- The odds of securing an internship go up significantly when you apply to several opportunities. Make sure you are not sending a generic letter/resume to every single employer. Tailor your materials to each employer and be careful that you’re not sending cover letter “A” to employer “B.” If you find yourself getting impatient waiting for an interview or a response from an employer, take a walk or call a friend. Do not hastily email the potential employer or pester them for an interview. Finding interns is the last thing on their mind and you have to respect that. ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL!