Summer may seem like a long way off from now...but it's not.
You will blink and it will be Spring. You will blink again and it will be summer. So how will you make sure you're among the haves and not the have-nots when it comes to landing a summer internship or learning experience worthy of your learning goals and all the awesomeness you have to offer?
Along with all the must-dos like having your resume reviewed (getting a resume, if you are without), networking, and completing as many applications and inquiries as humanly possible between now and Spring, here are a few tips to consider in making sure you're on target to secure an internship by summer.
1) Get Clear
Get clear about what you want to learn this simmer and how this experience will line up with other academic and professional goals. You can make a bullet list or right own a narrative. Find examples of the kind of company or organization you might like to intern for. It doesn't need to be a specific company organization, just an example to help you get clear. Even if you're unsure of what you would like to do, start out with what the perfect kind of learning experience would look like to you.
2) Tell EVERYONE
Imagine you are walking around will a big button on your chest; written on the button is this: "Ask me about my Internship Search". This is the visual I want you to have everywhere you go over the next few months. (If you want to make an actual button...even better) While intentional networking is always helpful, you never know what connections your unintentional networking may uncover. Your roommate's cousin might be in the industry you're targeting. The server at your favorite eatery might also freelance at the company or organization you've been eyeing for weeks. Remember to be open.
3) Understand What you Bring to the Table
Internships should be reciprocal.
Yes, your list of past accomplishments will be neatly listed and ordered on your resume, but take some time to figure out the value you will bring to any company or organization, should they hire you. What unique talents and gifts will you bring?
4) Conduct Informational Interviews
I can not say enough about the multi-purpose awesomeness of informational interviews. These are one-on-one information gathering sessions, usually conducted with members of a targeted industry, organization, or company. They can be as short as 30min but usually not much longer than an hour. In an informational interview, the interviewer will ask the interviewee questions like: What kind of skills does your company looks for in their interns? What's a typical day in the field? What was your career path into your current position? What advice do you have for me? Is there anyone else would recommend I talk to?
The interviewer should NOT ask the interviewee for a job, internship, or reference.
Informational interviews are great because they provide industry insights, career advice, and networking all in one.
It's time to get out there. Take small steps everyday towards your goal. Remember not to get discouraged by any initial rejection. Learn from it and move on. You got this.
Do you have any tips that helped you land an internship? Comment below or head over to my Facebook page.
Know someone who could use this advice? Forward it on to them.
Do you want to know how you or your team could be Directing Your Purpose, contact me. Don't forget to sign-up for my mailing list. You can also follow me on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.