As the deadline for spring internship applications gets closer and closer, aspiring professionals need to be picky before they send out their resumes and cover letters to a number of places. Below I have outlined some things to keep in mind to help you find the perfect place for you to hone your skills next semester.
- Compensation. If you are not taking the internship for school credit, make sure the company knows that, seeing as many prefer to give credit over a stipend. While on the topic of compensation, think about if the time you will be committing is equal to what you will be getting out of it.
- Location. While this may seem obvious, it will make your life a whole lot easier if your internship is easy for you to reach. You might find a great company, but if you have to take the subway, two buses and walk after that, it’s not a realistic option for you to fit into your schedule.
- Research! Getting emails about internship opportunities may be exciting, but before you send them your information, make sure you do some research on the company to see if it actually interests you. Take a look at their clients, any news about them, or case studies they may have done. During most interviews, the employer will ask what you know about them. Be prepared so as not to look unprofessional and unprepared.
- Experience. Most importantly, what are you going to learn? Most internships list duties the job entails, but in an interview make sure to inquire about how much responsibility you will have and what you will be participating in. Avoid internships that sound like ones you have had, since you are ultimately trying to grow as a professional.
- Update. Before you apply to anything, make sure your resume is updated with your most recent experience and that you have deleted obsolete information. Some employers request certain information on your resume or cover letter, so be mindful of what they are looking for from you. If they require writing samples, have someone read over some samples you have picked out so that they may pick the best ones with unbiased eyes. Try to have variety in your writing samples to show you can be flexible in your abilities, don’t give them two of the same type of document (i.e. two blog posts).
I wish you all luck in your internship endeavors! Where are you applying this semester? How are you preparing?