Tuesday, August 5, 2014

3 Things to Know Before Getting an Internship

So a few weeks ago I landed a new internship! It's virtual so I can do it from here, but the woman I'm working for is based in NYC (!!!). I landed it on none other than Internships.com and it's been going really well so far. I've already learned so much in the few weeks I've been working with her, I'm actually amazed. Not only am I learning things that I will be using in my career, but a lot of the things I'm learning I can apply to my blog as well.

I waited a long time to get my first internship. I didn't land my first one until the start of last semester (er... junior year), and now I'm taking on my third internship! Come fall, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing three and taking a full schedule of classes. (*Insert panic attack here*) I may or may not have bit off more than I can chew, but what's new? The bottom line is, I feel like I've learned enough from my experience to give you a few pointers if you're starting on the hunt for an internship this coming semester.

1. Research the company before the interview. I can't stress this enough. How can you be expected to work for a company you know nothing about? Before I head into an interview with someone I hope to be an intern for, I spend at least an hour online Google searching them, their company, events they've attended/planned, and so on and so forth. An interviewer will never not be impressed when you bring up that you saw the video they did on YouTube for what's-his-face about so-and-so. Take notes, be prepared.

2. Know what you're getting yourself into, and know if you can handle it. A lot of times, companies will put up thorough descriptions of the internships they have available up online. Read over them and review them before you apply to make sure you're qualified. Pay attention to how much of a time commitment it is and whether or not it will affect how you perform at school. Is the internship for a company with values that you value, and a mission that you want to help them achieve? Do you feel that you can contribute to this company's main goal in a positive way? If so, apply!

3. Ask questions. I make it a point to have at least three questions to ask my interviewer at the end of our "chat". I've never not been asked in an interview, "So, do you have any questions?" They can range from extremely simple questions to more complex ones. Let your interviewer know that you care and that their company is a company you want to invest your time in. Never let them think that it's just something else to put on your resume!

One last lil' tip. Internships are about growing and learning. They're about immersing yourself into a new environment, so don't be afraid to make mistakes. Because you definitely will. Your higher-ups understand that you're still learning; they expect hard work from their interns, but they also expect a slip-up or two (watch out for three). I kid you not when I say internships are important. Grades can only get you so far, it's experience that separates the As from the Bs.

1 comment:

Zoe Diaz-McLeese said...

Great tips! I think these are some of the best pieces of advice I've read about internships. I had some awesome ones this summer, and it definitely helped to have prepared extremely well before the interviews!

La Vie en Zoe