Hello all! Are you considering doing an internship over the summer or during the fall semester? If so, then you’re in the right place! Internships are a great opportunity to get your foot in the door. They provide crucial information that you may not receive from your average classes at school alone. Internships are a fun way to not only build your resume and experience, but are also to begin networking with other people. With this, here are four ways to prepare you for an internship!

Do your Research!

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When looking for an internship, you want to make sure that not only do you have the credentials to apply, but that it also suits your interests! There is nothing worse than getting that giddy feeling about starting an internship only to find that it’s not what you expected. Research the company and all that they are about. Look into the work they do and identify what their main focus is. While you’re at it, check out their social media platforms and YouTube page to get a feel for the company on a more personal level. This research will not only enable you to have a better understanding of the company, but will also help during the interview process! Throughout this research, stay organized by creating an excel sheet as you find companies that spark your interest. Use this excel sheet as a reference to keep track of the status of your applications and whether the companies have responded, when to follow up, and other important information. 

Resume and Cover Letter

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When applying for a job or internship, an updated resume and cover letter are a must! These two components should be tailored to the particular job that you are applying to. Your resume and cover letter go hand in hand. The cover letter should amplify the skills mentioned in your resume, and the resume should touch upon the skills mentioned in the cover letter. Resumes should be concise, no longer than one page. They should have strong wording that really expresses your previous experience and skill sets. Your cover letter should also be about one page in length. The cover letter is where you really get to sell yourself, while also expressing your individual personality. You can have fun with the design of your resume and cover letter, just remember to keep it professional. Try playing around with design features such as a colored banner and different fonts to make it unique. There are plenty templates to search online that are fun, yet polished, but always remember that your resume and cover letter should look the same. Etsy has some great ones that you can purchase!

Follow Up!

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Have you applied for your dream internship, but haven’t heard back yet? This is totally normal! People are busy and finding an intern may not be their first priority. While this may be true, this does NOT mean that you should simply sit back and play the waiting game. If you haven’t heard back after about a week, shoot them a quick e-mail. Explain to the company that you are following up on the status of your application and how excited you are to hear back from them. Maybe even throw a bit of information in the e-mail about the company that you learned or really began to admire throughout your research. This shows that you are eager and are a go-getter – two qualities that are incredibly important when entering the real world.

Time for an Interview!

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Interviewing can be incredibly intimidating, but the only way to settle your anxieties is to prepare. Make sure you really know the company you are interviewing with. This will show the interviewer that you know your field and you are truly passionate about the position being offered. Don't be afraid to show off your strengths and hard! While preparing, think of possible questions that may be asked throughout the interview. Prepare for the tough ones, such as your biggest weakness and ALWAYS have questions to ask at the end of the interview. Nothing is worse than having absolutely zero questions prepared. This shows disinterest, that you are unprepared, and you aren’t enthusiastic about the position. The next thing to prepare is the fun part, your outfit! Dress to impress! Even if you know the company you are interviewing with is set in a more laid-back environment, you should still dress polished and professional. If you are applying to a job in more of a creative industry, such as fashion or art, don't be afraid to add a little spunk to your outfit! Show your creative side through your clothes, but always remain professional. Try wearing a blazer with a colorful pair of slacks, or a black suit with some funky accessories. After your interview, send a handwritten note. This is a much more personal way to thank the interviewer for their time than just simply sending them an e-mail.

We cannot stress enough how important internships are. They enable you to get a glimpse into the future. Internships are a trial and error process and they may not all be the same. You may learn more at one internship than another, some may be terrible and some may be absolutely fantastic. No matter how much you love or hate your internship you will always learn something new. They are a way to get a feel for whether a career is a good fit for you or not. Just remember to always be prepared – show up early, bring extra copies of your resume, have questions to ask and really get to know the company ahead of time! Most importantly, have fun, learn lots, and be open minded!

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