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The Hunt for Internships

By Anuj Elhence

It is widely known that internships are crucial in landing a job after graduation. However, how can you find them, and what should you expect from the experience? Here is a straightforward guide to answer your questions.

 

First and foremost, internships offer more than just a pathway to your first job. They also help expand your professional network, educate you about an industry, and provide hands-on work experience. Therefore, the earlier you can secure an internship, the better.

 

IMPORTANT

Before starting your internship search, it's important to do some self-reflection. Take some time to identify your skills, interests, and passions. Consider your strengths and areas for development. This will help you better understand yourself and reduce the chances of ending up in an internship you won't enjoy. Additionally, research the company you are interested in and brush up on any relevant topics you'll need for your internship.

 

Step 1: Making a Resume: Think of your resume as your highlight reel. Your resume will be an employer's first impression of you, so make it count. Make sure it includes your skills, experiences, clubs, and education. Be concise, clear, and honest. Finally, when describing your skills, claiming to be a 'team player' is excellent, but unless there's tangible proof, it's just a fancier way of saying you've successfully completed a group project.

 

Step 2: Networking: Networking isn't just about collecting business cards like Pokémon cards; it's about building genuine connections. People will refer people they know and trust. They tend to shy away from people who just want to use them to get ahead. Attending career events (many are offered online), engaging in LinkedIn conversations, and connecting with experienced professionals are also important. If you don't know the person but would like to connect, reach out with something relevant and meaningful related to their job or career. Ask probing questions. In other words, don't start the conversation with "Can you help me?"

 

Step 3: Applying: First, volume is everything; the more internships you apply for, the higher your chances of getting an offer. Upper-classmen, in particular, can be an excellent resource for helping you identify internships. It's also important to be honest and truthful in your application. Lies have a terrible way of coming back to you at precisely the worst time.

 

Step 4: Interviewing: Once you get an interview, consider it an opportunity to share more about yourself. Before the interview, research the company thoroughly. Understand its mission, values, and recent achievements. Familiarize yourself with the industry trends and how they might impact the organization. Present yourself as a thoughtful, prepared, and professional candidate, ready to take on the challenges of an internship. Also, make sure you never leave an interview without asking at least two great questions.

 

Step 5: Following Up: Ghosting is unacceptable, so send a thank-you note after the interview. It shows you're keen, courteous, and interested in the position. Keep your message brief and to the point. Avoid generic statements and instead tailor your note to reflect your conversation. This personal touch shows that you were engaged during the interview and are genuinely interested in the position.

 

Step 6: Waiting for an answer: This is the hardest part. It's like a cliffhanger at the end of a show's season finale, except here, you're constantly refreshing your email instead of Netflix. The period after an interview can be a test of patience. It's a time when the 'refresh' button on your email becomes your worst enemy. If the wait extends beyond an established timeframe, following up with a polite email is acceptable. Reiterate your interest and inquire about any updates, always maintaining a tone of professionalism.

 

Step 7: Handling Rejection: Rejection is not the end. It's an opportunity to learn and grow. Ask for feedback, refine your approach, and keep applying. Remember, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and now he's one of the greatest players of all time.

 

Step 8: Accepting the Offer: When you get that offer, take a moment to be grateful and then prepare to embark on this new journey with enthusiasm and an open mind. You're about to gain valuable experience, make connections, and explore new career paths.  Although you may encounter a few obstacles along the way, it's all part of the process of discovering your true calling."

Happy hunting.

 

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