Finding a summer internship can be really intimidating. You start with good intentions but after an hour of scouring the web and realizing that each internship needs a separate cover letter, your resume hasn’t been updated in three years, and you don’t even know what Linkedin is you give up and decide to watch Stranger Things on Netflix for the third time. Trust me, I’ve been there. But I am here, three internships under my belt, to tell you that IT'S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. So grab a snack, we’re going to get through this together.
Make a Spreadsheet
Staying organized during your internship search is crucial to your success. By creating a spreadsheet you’ll have a color-coordinated, organized document that you can refer to from start to finish. You can make your spreadsheet however you would like but I suggest that you include the internship name, website, application status, interview dates, and location. You can also add relevant contact information or notes you make along the way.
When I was applying for my internships last year I also used color coordination: Yellow for in-progress, Red for declined, and Green for accepted. Having a visual guide helped me track my progress and stay motivated to finish my applications.
No Connection Is Too Small
If you don’t currently have a Linkedin account, make one ASAP. Actually open a new tab on your computer and make one RIGHT NOW. Start by adding your old bosses, professors/ teachers, community members, and friends. Add anyone and everyone to your network, the more the merrier. Once you’ve added your connections spruce up that profile. Some tips: add more information about your work experience, add community service, if you’ve written anything on the internet INCLUDE IT, and finally DO NOT use a selfie as your profile picture. At the very least put on a nice shirt and have your friend take your picture in front of a blank wall. Presentation matters and Linkedin is a digital job fair.
Before you even start your internship search sit down and have a chat with yourself. What do you want out of this internship? What are your career goals? Do you have any dream companies you absolutely need to work for? What does your dream internship look like? Once you have a clear picture of what you want, you’ll be able to search for internships that fit your criteria. Having a clear picture doesn’t mean you can’t search outside of the box OR apply for internships you would have never considered. I applied for my internship last summer on a whim and it ended up being an incredible experience from start to finish.
Use Your Resources
The University and PRSSA have some incredible resources just waiting to be utilized. PRSSA has internship search that can be utilized. The University also offers free resume and cover letter advice at the Nevada Career Studio. You can drop in at any time and get advice on your job search, help writing that resume you’ve been neglecting. Trained career mentors can help you through every part of the application process. The Career Studio also offers an incredible job search tool with opportunities from across the globe. Finally, there are also plenty of sites out there some of my faves include; Indeed, Internship Queen, Linkedin Jobs, and Glassdoor.
Finally, don’t stress out. If you stay organized and work hard good things WILL happen to you, trust me.