How To Land Your Dream Internship

dreaminternship

I’ve always known I would be entering the field of Communications and I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to do but having an idea is definitely different than being certain! To figure out where exactly I wanted to be, I decided to explore the field through my very first internship with STAR 99.1 FM, my second with PBS and my third and current one with: ELLE.com. I learned plenty through my brief time in radio, television and online/magazine.

Contrary to belief, there are internships where their interns are doing more than just getting coffee. In fact, I didn’t go for my first Starbucks run until halfway into my third internship!

You’ll have awesome benefits such as developing skills and networking (with your boss and fellow interns and hey – people you meet in the elevator!) You just need an internship period! Trust me, these days, you need experience, not just education. Employers want to know if you can do something (anything!) so embrace an internship that’ll teach you.

Which leads to the question: how can you land your dream internship? You’ve heard the typical, but now it’s time to get into depth! Even if it’s not in the Communications or fashion fields, these tips are sure to put your resume to the top of the pile.

1. Related Experience

I know, I know. The point of getting an internship is to gain experience, right? Right. But that does not mean you should have no skill in the field that you envision yourself immersed in. Want to go into television? Join your school’s radio or tv network. Want to get into fashion writing? Join or start a HerCampus community at your school. Want to plain ol write? Blog! Want to be a politician? Join the debate team! It’s a simple as that.

You can also volunteer!

2. Stalk – I Mean, Research 😉

Google is your friend! So do deep research, guys – not that surface stuff! 30 minutes or less is not enough. Devote time to learning the ins and outs of the company. Find out when the company was established, look up the position you want and the responsibilities that come with it and learn the names of those in prominent positions.

With that being said, research your boss! It’s really not stalking guys lol social media provides you that easy access to know some things about your employer. Study them and use that knowledge to wow them in your cover letter and interview.

3. Have Backups

Always, always, always have a backup. And a backup for your backup. And a backup for your backup’s backup.

In your research, be flexible with the position you want. Also, look up similar positions elsewhere. Everyone is looking for an internship these days so be logical in your competition.

4. Be Realistic

You can’t get to a top notch company without top notch skills. If it’s your first internship, find one that would suit your learning needs. Then, build! Sites like ed2010.com and freefashioninternships.com have a variety you could go for.

When I was on the hunt, I wrote a list of the ones I was super interested in, kind of interested in and a little interested in. The duties and person of contact are included.

From the very start, I knew that I wanted to end up with ELLE, but I also knew I needed an edge. Even though radio isn’t what I want to do, I started with radio because that’s how communication all started. How do you get chosen if your skill set looks like everyone else applying?

5. Have An Awesome Resume

You should have one. It should be clean, it should be precise and it should be error free! Following a typical template isn’t recommended, especially when there’s Adobe to create awesomeness. My friend and I took a class that taught InDesign and we absolutely loved it! I’m telling you, it is super clutch.

Bonus tip: Change up your resume – it shouldn’t be general for all internships you go for. Specify! Say their names. Make them feel special!

6. Have An Even More Awesome Cover Letter

Resumes and cover letters come hand-in-hand now! Share who you are but don’t forget to highlight what you can do for the company. Yes, the cover letter seems like it’s all about you. But it’ not really. It’s all about how you can help them!

P.S: Address the company and don’t be cliche.

7. Get The Interview and NAIL It.

I’ll cover this more on next week’s post: “Getting the Interview & The Job.”

8. Follow Up

People love gratitude. So thank them! Reach out and show your appreciation of their time. I’m not just talking about after the interview. I’m talking about even after you’ve sent in your materials in the very beginning!

Again, I’ll go into detail on this next week, guys. I’ll be sharing my “omg” interview moments! Stay tuned!

Have any tips? Comment below!

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5 thoughts on “How To Land Your Dream Internship

  1. Holly Loube says:

    Great post. Jesus has blessed me with paid internships and positions in every career I’ve explored. Still don’t have a clue, but I’ve learned a lot and I am eternally grateful. I love the 2nd point about stalking haha.

    • tarahsaint says:

      Haha thanks, Holly! I haven’t yet had a paid internship unfortunately but def priceless opportunities! Def grateful. Thank God. Thanks for stopping by, girl!

  2. Jewell Christine says:

    Great tips! I applied all of these in my 6 years of undergrad & grad schooling to land great internships in mass comm/jour. I agree with you 100% on the related experience, keep an open mind i.e. don’t give yourself tunnel vision. I once thought I needed to find an internship solely in tv journalism but ended up writing op-ed for the Tribune newspaper, covering politics for an NPR affiliate, and even covering State House news in SC — and ALL of those experiences prepared & qualified me for the producing/editing job that I have now. also attending job fairs & national conferences in your field are great networking opportunities (i.e. NABJ, AWJ,etc.). God bless!

    Jewell
    lovejewellchristine.com

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