Hey there and Happy Hump Day…can I be honest with you? I’m not sure if this “Hump Day Help” is going to become regular or what, but it was a cute title and I like it, so sue me…
ANYWAY, have you started looking for a Spring internship yet? NO? Well then you get one of these:
…and some advice (which won’t soothe the sting of my slap). I wanted to give you my 5-step plan for internship searches; I know it seems easy to just go to Craigslist or whatever and just randomly send your resume to the faceless HR department, but if you really want to stand out and land a GREAT (not just “good”) internship, keep on reading:
- Like all good projects, your internship hunt begins with research: Yes, my good people, research. When I was applying for my Fall internships I spent a good 2 weeks (maybe over-kill) researching firms in my area and getting all the information I could about them. I advise making a Google spreadsheet with your info so that you can keep track and update when necessary.
- Look for contacts: This may sound scary (and it is!) but when I found a firm I loved, I went straight to Linkedin and started looking for people who work there, so I can scope them out and get more info. I found HR people, AC’s, AE’s, etc. anybody I could reach out to. If I liked what I saw, I sent a PERSONALIZED request and introduced myself. 85% of the time, they accepted and responded.
- Pick up the phone: I know they say it’s best to e-mail, but listen, a voice on the phone (pleasant and courteous and clear), is always more memorable than a random e-mail. Have phone fright? Have a little script ready, something like this: “Good morning, my name is ______ and I wanted to inquire about the availability of any Spring internships, whom should I speak to?” be clear and concise and above all, be extra nice to the receptionist; they are the gatekeepers and can really help you get to the right person.
- Follow up any and all communication with a “thank you”: Did someone give you some good information? Drop them a quick “thanks” e-mail, went in for an interview? I always opt for hand-written “thank you” notes that I prepare ahead of time so that I can stop and quickly edit them for content and drop them in the mail that same day. A “thank you” can go a long way in today’s world.
- Be diligent: If you’ve sent your e-mails and made your calls and you still haven’t heard back, you can do 2 things: 1, you can just shrug and forget it and move on; but if it’s a firm you really want to work for, keep at it. Be polite and a bit pushy. Also, please remember, interns are hired up to 2 months in advance, so NOW is the time to start looking for a January start date. Hunker down and get to it, it will be worth it in the long run.
Internships are a very competitive business (which is strange that so many people want to work for free lol) and it can be that one tiny thing that pushes you over the top. So be prepared, be courteous, be knowledgable and be enthusiastic, and I promise you, good things will happen. That’s all I have today, see you next time!