By Eymee Torres, Account Supervisor
As we are reaching the near-end of the spring semester, you are probably wondering what your next steps are for the summer. Whether that means taking summer classes or finding the ideal summer internship, it can be quite nerve-wracking. An internship is critical to helping you jumpstart your career as you enter your senior year. Here are four steps on finding the right internship for you:
- Determine Your Interests and Career Goals
When navigating through the variety of internships that are offered, you should first figure out what your career interests are. If you’re focused on working in public relations, think of the different sectors you’re interested in such as fashion, tech, consumer, and others. A mentor once gave me the best advice — “If you don’t like reading the news on tech, then maybe it would be best to not work in tech.” This helped me figure out the different kinds of fields I would be more intrigued to learn about. To assist with this process, try to find internships in the different sectors of PR. From there, you can determine the sectors you actually enjoy based on your hands-on experience. You may think you don’t enjoy working in the tech industry until you actually do, or you may have dreamed about working in the fashion industry but end up hating it. Internships are meant to be a learning experience to set yourself up for success!
- Make A List
After determining your career goals, begin researching through Linkedin the different kinds of companies you’d like to work at. For example, feel free to search “Fashion PR firms in New York City” or “Consumer Tech PR firms in Boston”. When parsing through these companies, you can click through their websites, browse through their clients, and check if they have any upcoming internship applications. This is the moment you want to find the companies you dream to work for. You’d be surprised to find out how many of the companies you had written down you ended up working for.
- Networking, Networking, Networking
Networking can seem scary at first, but it is the most critical step to finding an internship (and potential job!). Building professional relationships is something you will have to practice throughout the entirety of your career, so let this moment be the start. You can begin with fostering relationships with your professors. Not only are they industry professionals, but they are 9 times out of 10 going to know someone who works at the company you hope to intern for. They might even have colleagues and former students reach out to them looking for potential interns. The second most efficient way to network is to look through Linkedin and connect with senior level employees. The best advice someone gave me was to connect with someone on Linkedin who has your dream position at your dream company. Message them to chat over Zoom, as they’re more than likely willing to connect with you. Pro-Tip: Keep a spreadsheet of your connections with their contact info and regularly keep up to date with them in the future.
- Triple Check Your Resume and Apply!
After doing research and networking, you’ll have a new list of companies who have applications open for interns. This would be the time to go over your resume — be sure to add in your relevant courses, clubs, previous internships. Along with your resume, have a cover letter template that can be tweaked and personalized per each application. Once you have those two documents, hand them over to your friends and professors to ensure it looks professional and application ready. Once you’re ready to go, let your connections know you’re ready to apply and submit your application.
In conclusion, finding an internship can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you have found the internship you have been looking for, make the most out of your experience. This is your time to learn and grow professionally. This is also a time to figure out if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. Figure out the core values you are looking for in a future employer. Remember to enjoy your time as an intern — this is the best time to make mistakes and learn from them!