Now that you’re in college, you don’t want to spend your summers frivolously.
Wait, let’s try that again.
Now that you’re in college, you can’t AFFORD to spend your summers frivolously.
By the time you’re in your junior year, it is paramount that you get a summer internship, but securing one is not without difficulty.
I’m in my junior year of college, and I just recently secured my first summer internship.
Here are some tips that may help.
1. Know what kind of internship you want but don’t limit your options.
Apply for internships that speak to your skill set or major, but also ones that will grow your skills and your experience in your chosen career field. Over the course of my college career, I’ve applied to numerous media/journalism type internships. My college offers a journalism fellowship where interns are placed with local media partners. I applied to the fellowship every year. In freshman year, I was a finalist, I didn’t hear back in sophomore year, and now that I’m in my 3rd year, I was finally accepted as a fellow. Your college is one of the first places you should look for internships, but don’t be afraid to explore the world wide web.
2. Have tenacity.
When applying for internships, you have to have tenacity and stick-to-itiveness, because you WILL get frustrated. If I had given up on applying to the fellowship, I would have never been accepted. I could have given up after being a finalist and then not hearing back the consecutive year. I could have been like, “Well, they’re not going to accept me anyway, since they didn’t in the past.” I could’ve ignored the one more year of experience I had gained and the fact that I have one more thing under my belt that I didn’t have before: Joshua’s Truth. But no. I applied. I was a finalist. I interviewed. I conquered. And I got it. You’re not going to get anywhere in life if you wallow in failure.
3. Research the company you’re trying to intern with. It will help you during the interview.
During the interview, I was asked why I specifically wanted to intern with them and what I would bring to the table. They want to know why they should choose you, so in turn you should know why you are choosing them. It’s a two-way street. It’s a relationship. They also want to know what specific skills you will bring to the table that will benefit them. They don’t care about the other internships you’ve applied to and what you might have lined up. You have to show that you’re dedicated and committed to their wants and needs.
4. Don’t be afraid to hype yourself up.
Sometimes we’re a little fearful to talk about ourselves, as if we’re being too prideful or boastful, but the point of an interview is to talk about yourself! I have trouble with this, too, and interviews in general, as I’m a shy, introverted person. But you know yourself, and now you have to sell the parts of yourself that you know. Wow them. The part that did it for me was when Joshua’s Truth Magazine was brought into the equation. They started asking me about the content, the audience, the platform, the host. Questions I didn’t think would come up during an interview, but they’re genuinely curious on your accomplishments and how those skills you’ve gained can be used. They want you to hype yourself up, so do it.
5. Just be yourself.
If you don’t take away anything else from these tips, take this one. BE YOURSELF. Don’t finesse. Don’t be fake. Don’t make up stuff. Don’t lie. Be real. If they ask you about a weakness, be honest. If they ask if you have experience in so and so, answer honestly. Lying and fakeness will only make it worse for you. People like sincerity and knowing that you’re a trustworthy person, especially depending on what type of internship you’re going for. Being truthful is even more essential in the field I’m in: journalism. If I can’t be trusted in an interview, how can I be trusted to deal with covering news and talking to sources? When you’re hyping yourself up, don’t do it to the point where you’re exaggerating or making up false skills. Be genuine. Be you.