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3 Steps to Landing Your Summer Internship (1622 hits)

Your college years can be one of the most exciting times in your life. You are maturing as a person, establishing lifelong friendships, gaining insight into your future life and creating your early career strategy.

Part of your early career strategy must be to gain relevant on-the-job experience to augment your academic knowledge. One of the best ways to get this early career experience is through internships. Whether this experience is called an internship, a co-op, field experience or service learning, the intention is the same; gain actual work experience as you complete your college degree. Here are 3 steps to land a summer internship program this year.

Conduct Your Research

College recruiters continue to say that lack of company research is one of the biggest mistakes college students make in the job search. Begin company research with HBCU Connect before visiting the company website. Be sure to research basic information such as company size, location, profitability, products, competitors and culture. Do not limit research to companies whose names you recognize. On the other hand, do not think you know enough just because you know the company name. Also, expand your research beyond Fortune 500 companies. There are excellent college internship programs in all kinds of organizations.

Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews

The second step to land a spot in a great internship program, is to make your job search strategy includes an error free resume, targeted cover letters and interview preparation. If you have these job search tools mastered in early spring then you are ready to send out applications. Visit your campus career center to get sample resumes and cover letters to help you with formatting, layout and proof reading. Also schedule an appointment to do a mock interview in your college career center.

Begin to Apply for Internships Early

If you have checked out the list of internships posted on HBCU Connect, done your company research and visited your career center, you are ready to apply for internships. Upload your resume and begin to communicate your interest with companies. Attend job fairs on your campus this spring and look for virtual job fairs online. Keep in mind that in a bad economy, the competition will be great for top programs so the more applications you file, the better your chances. Keep in mind also that even though we are experiencing a tight economy, many companies are actively looking for talented, diverse candidates from HBCU’s.

Internships offer great early career experiences. Take the time to find the right internship opportunity for you. You should know that companies aim to convert interns into full time offers, so your internship this year, could be the ticket to your first job!

Courtesy of Career Coach Marcie who has trained or coached students and new grads for 10 years on workplace, career, internship and employment success. Subscribe to her BullsEye Career Blog
Posted By: Dr. Marcia Robinson
Wednesday, January 7th 2009 at 8:40AM
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