By: Kelsey McMullan
G-8, MISS, A-2, HIT! Oh wait, that’s Battleship not internship. Sorry.
Finding a good internship is a lot like playing Battleship though. You have to search for your targets. You can go at it with a strategy, but a lot of the time you still get a ‘MISS’ in response.
To start your game of Internship, set out your targets. Pick 5-6 companies or internship websites that would be your dream places to work, and for that stubborn two-hit patrol boat pick 2 internship titles that you want to target.
Have you got your pieces laid out? Good.
Next, start trying to hit the targets. Look at those companies’ websites and monitor their career pages. Check them frequently since like ships, positions come and go. A-2 might be a hit one day with an internship but A-3 could not have an internship that same day. Keep going at it.
Start early! You don’t want half of your navy sunk before you even start trying to defend yourself! With an internship start looking a year before you want to start. Some applications for summer positions are due in October and November. The earlier you go on the attack, the more success you might have.
Pursue your targets. Use internship sites like Panther Career Link and Career Shift to help you locate positions. These sites will be like a navigation system, they will show you tons of targets on the screen.
D-5, HIT and SINK!
If you keep searching and applying eventually you will find an internship. Paid or unpaid if you have the skills and qualifications it will happen.
If you start to struggle, just take a breath and come talk to the staff at Career Management Services. They can help identify other sites that you can try, or help you polish up your resume and cover letter. It never hurts to have a fantastic resume and cover letter.
Take to time to tailor your resume and cover letter for each position you apply to. Just like taking care of a ship and checking for leaks- this is crucial to staying afloat. Making sure your resume doesn’t have holes is essential to helping you find a position. It might also be a good idea to have a professor or adviser who knows you well write a letter of recommendation for your top three positions.
Don’t just apply to automated positions. There are positions out there that say, “Send your resume and cover letter to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Take the time to apply to these positions! This is usually an indication that your material will be reviewed by an individual and not a computer program. You might find that you have better luck when you are looked at by a person and not a machine.
Finding an internship is a long and intense process for some people. Just be patient, learn to use your resources, and ask for help when you need it. The Career Management staff will do what they can to help you, but you have to be the commander of your fleet.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dust/2372626568/”>Amanda M Hatfield</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/4900164766/”>derekGavey</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>