By Abby Okeson
Are you struggling with finding an internship for this summer or next semester? Maybe you are not sure where to start the process. Here are some tips to help you in the right direction.
There are many resources available through Indiana University, but sometimes students are not sure where to access this information. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by the emails sent out about career fairs and informational seminars.
I find it beneficial to highlight the search with three main areas: resume building, networking and applying for the internship.
Before thinking about an internship, you need to build a resume. Creating a piece of paper
summarizing your accomplishments, goals and aspirations may seem daunting. A resource I
found helpful is Indeed’s step-by-step guide on how to write your resume.
Once you have finished your resume, upload it to Walter Career Center for Achievement website here. A career coach will review your resume within hours and have constructive comments posted by the next day. You can also upload your resume onto your Handshake profile and an instructor from your department can read over your resume and leave comments on how to adjust it to fit your industry.
The Media School Professor Dave Groobert is a great resource for resume building, interviewing and networking in the professional world. He recently suggested reviewing your resume multiple times before considering it finalized. And our resume is never truly finalized. Groobert says that resumes should be altered depending on the industry and position.
After resume building comes networking. You must first think about the people you consider as a part of your network and see them as resources or connections. These people can be as close as your family, such as a sibling, cousin or uncle. Do not discount the people in your life with whom you are the closest; their connections to people in your intended industry may surprise you. Ask your family member to write an email connecting you with whoever they may know. Then, schedule a time for a virtual or in-person meeting to discuss your interests in the field.
Also, start a conversation with peers in your classes. Think about the people in your clubs, older members in your sorority or fraternity or team members that have internships you find
interesting. They may be able to give you connections in cities outside of your hometown, or
with companies that align with your skills and desires.
If you are having a hard time thinking of people, get on LinkedIn. Look into businesses that interest you, or clubs and associations that peak your interest. Connect with people who work at the business or people who may have similar profiles as you.
Once you have connected with people through calls and in-person meetings, you should always ask to keep in touch with them and connect on LinkedIn. You should also ask if they know of anyone else in the industry for you to meet with and expand your network.
Applying for Internships
Once you feel comfortable, search for an internship through Handshake, Walter Center or
LinkedIn. There are many other places that employers post internship opportunities, such as
Glassdoor or Indeed. Something that I have found helpful is to do a general internet search for the top companies in your industry in the city that you would like to be in. For example, I look up top public relations agencies in Indianapolis. I will look at their work, see if they have
available internships and connect with them on LinkedIn.
If you are struggling with how to ask for an internship over email or messaging, check out this guide with examples.
Some places will have you apply through the website where the posting is listed on, but others will direct you to the company’s website. Be sure to read all of the instructions. It may be as simple as a cover letter and resume, but others will require you to fill out an application in addition to submitting those documents.
Resources and Extra Tips
One of the most helpful resources available through IU is the Walter Career Center for
Achievement. Underneath the student tab on the website, you can find everything you need. On this website, you will find the career coaches that are specific to your major or minor. Through this, you can schedule a visit with them.
You can learn more about Handshake there. Handshake helps you start the process by uploading documents as well as setting up a profile so alumni and companies can see your experience. There are also appointments available for instruction on how to do a Zoom interview, fix resumes and cover letters, find an internship or a job and search for a graduate school.
Aside from all of the resources, apply to multiple internships. You are not guaranteed any certain position. Do not be afraid to expand your experience by applying to a variation of positions in different cities or industries.
If I can give you any extra advice that I learned from peers, mentors and professors: do not be afraid of failure. You may get rejected from a position you believed would be a good fit for you, but do not stop there. Continue to apply and learn from the feedback.
I hope that these tips and resources will help you to succeed in finding an internship.