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Guest Post: How to Obtain an Internship – Advice from a #SuperIntern

July 21, 2011

This week’s guest post comes from one of MarketWave’s #SuperInterns, Whitney Starling. Here she gives advice on how to successfully attain an internship.
 
 
Why are internships so valuable? According to a March 2011 survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 39.1 percent of entry-level workers were found through an organization’s internship program.  Also, employers have turned about 58 percent of their interns into full-time employees.
 
Working as an intern is the last step before you truly enter the “real world.” Here are some tips from an experienced #superintern (a hashtag MarketWave uses when mentioning its summer interns, me and Catherine Lewis) that will help you while searching and applying for an internship:
 
Use your resources
  • Check out your school’s career center for job boards, mock interview practice and resume writing help.
  • Talk to your professors about any advice, tips and industry contacts they are willing to share.
  • Get involved with student organizations, such as PRSSA or a collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Not only will you learn from seasoned professionals, but you will also make direct contacts when job hunting. My PRSSA mentor edited my resume that helped me secure my current internship!

 Edit your resume

  • Then edit it again. Your resume should be flawless because the smallest error stands out like a sore thumb and could cost you the internship.

 Be creative

  • You probably had a part-time job, volunteer experience or student organization involvement where you learned useful skills that can be applied to an internship. For example, I was a waitress and learned to multi-task and work in stressful environments. These types of skills can be applied to a variety of industries like the public relations and marketing industries.

 Utilize social media channels

  • Follow the organizations and companies you are interested in on their social media channels. When applying for internships and jobs my senior year, I found more positions on Twitter, Facebook and company websites than I did on job boards.

 Do your homework

  • Know the company inside and out. You will probably be asked why you want to work for that organization, so it’s important to have an honest answer prepared. Think about what made that organization stand out to you during your internship research.

 During the interview

  • Have confidence in yourself – being interviewed is a sign that you have already impressed the company. 
  • Bring hard copies of your resume and know it well.  
  • Ask questions – this shows your interest in the company and the position.

 Follow up

  • After the interview, send a hand-written thank you note. These days it is too easy to send an email – go above and beyond in order to stand out from the competition. The personal note I wrote for my present internship is currently sitting on my supervisor’s shelf.

What recommendations would you have for an intern wanting to make a good impression with your organization?

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