Friday, April 1, 2016

The Big, Fat Internship Search!

By Mrinalini Srinivasagopal
Student Ambassador, Pennsylvania State University

Once you are working toward your degree, it is important to begin the internship search. Much like the job search, the internship search requires that you identify your area of interest and align it toward your career path.

It is best to start your search early. Every university will have a career services department that often provides resources like resume building workshops, LinkedIn workshops, information sessions with employers, and career fairs.

Here are some tips to help you as you search:

Network, Network, and Network 

Having networking skills is very important. Join the alumni network at your school, talk to seniors and professors, and use your own network – friends and family. Networking will help you gain knowledge about open positions and help you decide on your career path.

Tailor Your Cover Letter to Every Position You Apply For
Do not just modify the company name and send out the same cover letter for each internship. Modify your documents and personalize them to each position. Remember that the more effort you put in, the higher your chances are of getting an internship.

Plan, Prepare, and Practice
Attend career events and ask other professionals for feedback on your resume. You can ask career services, fellow peers, family, friends, and professors. Remember, the idea is to present yourself in the best way possible. When searching for an internship you should also practice your interview skills, notify your references, and carefully keep track of appointments in a calendar.

After an interview, information session, or phone conversation with an employer, be sure to always send a thank you note and remember to follow up regarding the internship. This shows that you are interested in the position and it leaves a good impression on the employer.

While the internship search can be tiring and time-consuming, your hard work will payoff in the end when you receive your dream internship position.

Mrinalini Vasanthi is originally from India and currently pursuing her master's degree in computer science at Pennsylvania State University. She is expected to graduate in summer 2017. 

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