“Dear Brooke, it’s my first time attempting to find a summer internship. Do you have any tips or tricks for me?”
While I haven’t had a summer internship myself, I feel as though I am qualified to give solid advice when talking about a topic as such. I am “sophomore success” certified, after all!
This past fall semester, I was fortunate enough to take a two-month-long session (with none other than the amazing Stephanie Gallo, a College of Arts and Sciences Career Counselor) and learned all about career readiness! Even though I suggest that you get the full experience like me and sign up for the same course next semester, here is a shortened version of what I learned before all of the summer internships get filled.
Polish Your Resume
The key to curating the perfect resume is more simple than most people think. My personal resume is split into three sections: education, relevant experience and relevant projects. In the education section, I can bluntly state where I go to school, my GPA, my major, course highlights, honors and skills. In the relevant experience, I can show off where I’ve worked or I am currently working by using bullet points. A past Mirror article, “How To Create A Professional Resume,” does a wonderful job going into more details on how to correctly format it. Lastly, I can reveal the types of projects I’ve done in my class that are similar to what I would be doing in my preferred career path. Once your resume is done, most applications will ask for a cover letter as well! By analyzing what the job description is looking for, you should pick out certain aspects you feel you have and share some examples that prove how you match these qualities.
Scour The Internet
Handshake is an amazing resource to have, as it is specifically created for students who are currently in college. You can quickly sign in through Fairfield University’s portal and choose full-time, part-time or internship categories that are related to your majors and minors. You can narrow down the location and it even shows you all of the job descriptions. On the bottom, it will always give you a direct button to apply. LinkedIn is another great source to scroll through, especially the “jobs” tab. It will create a long list of occupations that are mostly geared towards your interests and even show if any Fairfield alumni work there. A smart, proactive step to take would be to send a message to a Fairfield alum and ask them if they would give you any advice or have any internships available. You never know what can come of one simple message! However, before you start typing, make sure that your account is updated and organized. Having a good profile will undoubtedly separate you from the other students who are attempting to find an internship as well.
Schedule A Meeting
By scheduling a meeting with your school’s career counselor, you can benefit more than you’d ever think. All academic buildings at Fairfield have wonderful career centers, so try reaching out to an advisor in your specific school. In the meetings that I have had, I always start by showing my resume to make sure that it is correctly formatted and that it looks like I am putting my best foot forward. Following that, you can do something called a “mock interview” where you could ask your counselor to pretend to be an employer and answer their questions. In that setting, it will prepare you for what type of responses you want to say, lower your anxiety and allow your counselor to give you feedback on how you did. Maybe you aren’t making good eye contact or you fidget when you speak – these are things you need to know ahead of time! Another good resource to check in with is any professor that you think is a good connection or that could potentially have other strong associates who could help you. If I wanted an internship at a local magazine or newspaper, I would ask to meet with the digital journalism professors and inquire if they know anyone hiring or what they think would be the best step for me to do.
The Two “P’s”
Persistence and patience! Even when you do what seems to be all the right steps, getting an internship is incredibly tough. Don’t let an abundance of “no’s” get in the way of you hearing your first “yes.” At the end of the day, continue checking websites such as HandShake and LinkedIn and apply to any company that has uploaded a new “help wanted” ad. Don’t be afraid to politely email an employer that hasn’t gotten back to you or schedule another mock interview with your career counselor.
If this summer you don’t end up securing an internship, you have to remind yourself that it’s totally okay too! You now know the steps to getting started for next year’s internship mania and you can start your lookout even earlier than everyone else. Take these warmer months to work a regular job where you can earn some income and enjoy the rest of your break before heading back to school.
Are you seeking any advice? Email Brooke at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message our Instagram @fairfieldmirror to be featured!