How To Get an Internship: Marist Style
Yes, the title of this blog is a “Gangnam Style” reference but I am not going to sing to you in a different language or attempt to make a political parody. I’m here to talk to you about something that I believe is one of the most important factors in a college experience: internships.
Last year, as a high school senior touring schools, not really sure about a major quite yet, I was looking for a school where I would be able to intern as soon as possible to figure out if I was headed in the right direction and in the right industry. One of the reasons I decided on Marist College was because they offer internship guidance in as early as your freshman year.
In my second semester as a Red Fox, I started the internship process. It was one of the most valuable things I will take away from my freshman year because it gave me a glimpse of what my job search after college will entail and allowed me to go through the interview process with real companies.
So without further ado, here is my how-to on internships!
Pay attention to what aspects of your major you enjoy, what you would like to learn more about, and even what you dislike. Knowing your relationship with different aspects of your major will allow you to make decisions that will further you in a favorable direction.
Begin building a resume! I know you have been told to keep track of every leadership activity, every notable club, every sports achievement throughout high school and you probably never actually wrote it down (I know I didn’t). If you did, great! You can put it in this nifty template provided by Marist College Career Services and add all of your more recent accomplishments and activities:
If you do not already have a resume, start thinking! Brainstorm a list of everything you have done over the past year or two and use the template for formatting.
Start building a sample cover letter for a job position that you might be interested in. Career Services offers several samples online with different formatting and scenarios: http://www.marist.edu/careerservices/correspond.html#cov
Once you have a draft of your resume and cover letter, log into FoxQuest to schedule a resume review or a cover letter appointment with one of our lovely Career Services counselors. They can offer a lot of great information on what each industry looks for in a resume and cover letter (and they’re just really great people)!
Revise resume and cover letter and schedule an appointment with the internship coordinator for your department.
Some departments require you to fill out a supplementary internship request form usually found online or outside the internship coordinator’s office. There may also be other supplements so make sure to check it out with a department secretary or the internship coordinator.
Send out emails! In most cases, the internship coordinator will supply you with email contacts for internships at different companies. For each email your cover letter serves as the body and the resume is attached to the email in PDF form. Make sure to put the internship term and title in the subject box.
Wait for replies! I have to say that the waiting in between emails is the hardest part of the process because you want to know if you have a shot. Don’t sweat it! Most companies reply within a business day, however it is common to wait three to four days before sending a follow-up email to be “politely persistent”.
Set up interviews with companies that have replied. It is very helpful to leave one free day during the school week if you are looking for a summer internship in a different town. This way, you are available to travel to interviews without class conflicts.
Interview! Make sure to dress professionally, be on time, and come prepared with several copies of your resume, cover letter, and any related projects or portfolios that are relevant to the job. Always have a pen and your schedule just in case!
Send a thank you email to the people who have interviewed you immediately after you arrive home. It leaves a good impression when they know that you understand how valuable their time is. If the company is one of your top choices you can also send a thank you note in the mail.
Wait for decisions! This is the absolute hardest part. Just know that you gave it your best shot and think positively! Most companies will get back within the week.
Bring the offer to your internship coordinator to get approved and go over ay items that need to be addressed.
Formally accept the internship through email and set up start and end dates.
Visit career services to register for your internship!
So there you have it: how to get an internship in fourteen steps. I hope this helps you to get an internship of your own!