As we come closer to the end of the year, something that always comes to mind is “what am I doing for the summer?”
Gone are the days of waiting for the next school recess to kick back and relax. Now, I’m mostly thinking about what internships or fellowships am I going to apply to?
It can seem daunting at first, with such a big world and not sure where to begin. But lets take a second to break down this giant feat into chunk-size steps that help me get the ball rolling.
Apply to the Right Internships
There’s a saying for Law School applicants that fits the bill here, “apply to the right schools, there’s a seat for everyone interested in law school.” What job industries do you see yourself working in? Would you be okay working in accounting? What about dance and the arts?
Don’t limit yourself to only the top organizations. While it is worth a shot, competition is higher and the odds are stacked against you. Certainly apply, but also create a safety net of options to fall back on if they don’t work out.
Narrow the list down to what you are willing and not willing to do. Can you travel to another state for a few months? Can you do an unpaid internship?
Now that you know what to look for, the next part requires some finesse.
There are multiple ways to do this. If you have an organization already in mind, go to their online web site and see what you can find. If you don’t find anything, send an email to their contact information asking for any information about upcoming internships.
The second option is using a search engine like Google or Bing. Type in the right keywords to narrow the search. If you are looking for an unpaid internship in finance and accounting, type in “internship unpaid finance accounting” in the the search box. If you want to maximize your search potential, check out these great tips here.
Now that you found some target internships, getting yourself organized will help you avoid sending a resume intended for internship A mistakenly to internship B.
Create a folder titled “Internships. There, you can create sub-folders for each internship. I like to name my folders with the initial of the organization followed by the date I sent the request, “WIIDC-9Dec2013.”
The reason to include the date is to keep track and send a followup in the weeks ahead if I haven’t heard anything back about them receiving it.
Now copy and paste resumes and cover letters and edit as required for that specific application. Also include samples requested to submit and duplicate them to keep all the relevant materials together.
Rinse & Repeat
Now that you have a starting system, keep using and improving it as your needs demand it.
Check Out Careerealism
I cannot stress enough the importance of utilizing the Internet to help you in your career development. There are many sites that give good advice, and my favorite is Careerealism. You can find great professional advice for FREE and, if you want direct coaching, well, they certainly have that too (for a fee).
So what are you waiting for?! Go get the ball rolling on applying!
What other great tips do you recommend for internship seekers?