Here's my ultimate internship guide that you can use as you search, apply, and interview for your dream internship!
Where to Look for Openings:
I found both of my internships on LinkedIn. One through a professor (and LinkedIn connection) referring me to one of his connection’s who was looking to fill a position, and one through my own job search using the website. Professors often have great connections in their industry. Be sure to ask if it’s okay to connect with them on LinkedIn if it’s not stated in your syllabus. Another good website to look for internships is Indeed.
Have These 3 Items Ready to Send:
Before you even start applying, make sure you have a great resume, cover letter, and at least one reference that is willing to write you a letter of recommendation. I’ve written a lot about perfecting your resume. You can find my most recent post about that here. I also have a post about networking that you can use to meet new contacts for references! Find that here.
After you find some internship positions that interest you, apply! I applied for several different positions so that I had multiple options. Make sure to double check your applications for spelling and grammar errors.
Most employers use phone interviews as a preliminary scan for which students possess the right skills for the job. These are usually under 30 minutes long. Most of my phone interviews were with one recruiter, though I had one conducted in a panel style with multiple employees from the company. Here are some tips for phone interviewing:
Keep your resume and list of accomplishments next to you
Prep for questions like “tell me about yourself” (which isn’t really a question) as well as behavioral questions like "tell me about a time when you worked on a diverse team"
Have questions to ask at the end
Write a thank you note to the person who interviewed you
You made it all the way to an onsite interview – congrats! Now it’s time to show them that you’re the right fit for the job. I like to be prepared by researching the company, prepping my outfit the night before, arriving early, and coming with questions to ask the recruiter. Then, I always send a thank you email to whoever interviewed me. Remember that you are also interviewing the company to see if the position will work for you! It’s a two-way street.
How to Accept or Decline an Offer:
Having the option to choose where you want to work is a huge privilege. Once you’ve been offered the position, I always like to ask for a week to talk with my family and make sure that the offer fits my needs exactly. Then, once you’ve made your decision, accept or decline the offer gracefully, always thanking them for their time interviewing you and for the opportunity. You never know what the future holds- even if you decline the offer now, it’s always smart to leave on good terms.
I hope this is helpful as you find your perfect internship! If you have more internship questions, feel free to leave a question below or on my Instagram @madeline_sepcic.