March 13, 2013

Internship Insanity

It's now mid March which means one thing; summer internship deadlines are coming.

As a journalism major, internships are a crucial part of the job search. Internships, networking, and creating a personal brand are all things that my school and Journalism program promote and really stick to us. 

There is so much expected of people in the Mass Communications field and it's a lot to handle at times. I'm a second semester junior looking for summer internships and it's very draining. With one internship and a bunch of writing experience under my belt, it's still difficult to gain an internship at a company that has a high standard.

The competition is tough out there and getting a job in the bad economy is harder than ever. It's putting a lot of pressure on Gen Y; you have be able to multi-task, have knowledge of ALL social media, know how to work Photoshop, and a bunch of other different skills and abilities. It's exhausting and so competitive.

No matter what your credentials are and no matter how qualified you think you are, there is always going to be someone who is more qualified, someone who is better. It's your job as the applicant to make yourself stand out and know what the dos and donts of internships are.

In the year that I've been applying to internships, I have become a little bit of an expert in the applying process. It's something that I enjoy doing, even though it stresses me out a tad bit.

As an Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, I've learned so much about internships and what it takes to stand out. One could say I've become a bit obsessed with getting the perfect career; reading Levo League articles daily, taking advice from women like Kate White, and applying to a ridiculous number of internships kind of has taken over my life.

There are so many different things that could help you while applying to internships and how to help make yourself stand out.


-Gain some experience

First thing first, you need to build your resume. Start a blog, do some freelance work, write for your newspaper, do anything to get some experience in your field of choice. If it's marketing, join the Marketing Club on your campus, get involved in PRSSA, do anything! The more experience and side work you have, the better it will look to employers.


-Go to your career center

The best place to get your resume and cover letter checked out is your campus career center. They are trained to help you with these kinds of things and they're free, so why not take advantage of them! I went to my career center to get my resume looked at. They helped me re-write the entire thing and really changed the wording so certain things sounded better. I also went to them to help me with a cover letter because I had no idea where to start with that. Now I'm an expert at writing cover letters and fixing up my resume.

-Read internship books

I've learned a lot about internships from reading books on the topic! The best book is Intern Queen's 'All Work, No Pay' where Lauren Berger (The Intern Queen) talks everything from where to apply to interview tips to what to do once you land your dream internship. This book calmed me down from the internship panic attacks I was having and really opened my eyes to how serious internships are. Might I also suggest reading general career books; Kate White's "I Shouldn't Be Telling You This" is AMAZING! 

-Do your research

Make a list of companies you'd like to work for and then google jobs available with that company. For example, if I want to work for Glamour Magazine, I would say "Glamour Magazine Summer 2013 Internships" and see what pops up. Google might not always be your friend so also rely on internship sites such as InternQueen.com, Internships.com, and your school's career website. Save these postings on your bookmarks so you can look back at them later, which leads into my next step.

-Divide your time

The best strategy I've used when applying for internships is to set a few hours or a whole day aside to apply. This will decrease the stress that you experience because it won't be on your mind for weeks. Sit down with your computer, a notebook, and a pen and get to work. Get yourself organized so make a list in the notebook with the companies you're applying too, the contact person, the materials needed, and the deadline for the application. Sitting down and knocking out a few applications on a given day will make you feel better and a lot more productive.

These are just a few tips on how to help you apply for internships. If you write an incredible cover letter and have a pretty great resume, you'll be fine. Your dream internship is out there and if you keep looking, you will stumble upon it.

The best advice is just stay positive, do your best, and keep applying. You'll get that internship eventually, just keep working.



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