How To Land an Internship
An internship is not only a
great experience; it is also a great way to jump-start your
career. But finding the perfect internship takes time and
Time It Right
Finding an internship is not
a last-minute project. You need time to research your
options, prepare your application, and interview for the
position. And if you want college credit for your
internship, you will have to work with your school
beforehand. So plan ahead and start your search at least
three months in advance.
Internships will not come to you. It is up to you to find
them or, in some cases, create them. But there are a lot of
resources to give you a head start. Start with your college.
Many companies actively recruit interns on college campuses.
To find your leads check out:
Your department. Industry leaders often contact
departments directly to find the best and the brightest.
The college placement center. Center staff can direct
you to resources to help you find promising programs.
The Internet can also
provide great leads for internships. Free online databases,
such as Internshipprograms.com (www.internshipprograms.com)
and Monster.com (www.monster.com), provide information about
programs nationwide. And many databases allow you to narrow
your search by industry, company, or geography. You can also
use the web to learn more about internship opportunities at
companies that interest you. Check the company's home page
for internship opportunities and contact information for the
Human Resources department. Do not worry if you do not find
established internship programs that interest you. It can
pay to take the initiative and offer your services even if
the company does not run a formal program.
Once you have identified a
prospective intern program, you need to make contact. If you
are applying to a formal internship program, request an
application form and submit the required materials as soon
as possible. Application requirements often include:
an application form
an essay describing your background and goals
letters of recommendation
a portfolio of your work.
If you are proposing an
internship to a company that does not usually hire interns,
you may need to work a little harder. Start by identifying
the department you would like to work for. Learn what you
can about the organization and the department, using online
resources such as www.hoovers.com or print media such as
newspapers, magazines, and journals. Next, draft a letter of
inquiry outlining your interest in the company, your
background, and your desire to serve as an intern. Use the
letter to demonstrate your knowledge of the organization and
the industry by commenting on recent company projects or
media coverage. Suggest ways your background could work for
the company. Be sure to include your resume and current
Do Not Just Apply
Landing an internship
requires more than just filling out an application. To stand
out, you must be able to speak intelligently about the
company and your future plans. Do this by researching the
company and the industry.
Visit your career placement office. Counselors should be
able to direct you toward corporate resources.
Ask your college reference librarian about resources for
companies in your field such as Infotrac, an electronic
database available at most libraries.
Also check Hoovers Online (www.hoovers.com) for
exhaustive information about various companies.
By knowing where to look and how to prepare, you can land
a great internship. The opportunities are out there--it is
up to you to go out and find them.
Source: Roxana Hadad, Fastweb.com