Friday, April 1, 2016

The Big, Fat Internship Search!

By Mrinalini Srinivasagopal
Student Ambassador, Pennsylvania State University

Once you are working towards your degree, it is important to begin the internship search. The internship search typically mirrors a job search. You need to identify your area of interest and align your career path towards it. It’s best to start the 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, to name a few.

Some tips that can help are:

Network, Network, and Network! 

There’s nothing better than good old networking skills. 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 that you apply for!

Don’t just modify the company name and send out the same cover letter for each internship. Modify your documents and personalize them to the recipient. Remember the more effort you put in, the more chances of getting an internship and rewarding yourself with the dream job.

Plan, Prepare and Practice!

Attend career events and ask as many people as possible for feedback on your resume. You can ask career services, fellow peers, family, friends, and professors. Remember, the idea is to promote yourself.

Also practice your interview skills, notify your references, and keep track of appointments so it’s easier to follow up.

Follow up!

After an interview, information session, or talk with an employer, always send a thank you note and remember to follow up regarding the internship. This shows that you are interested and leaves a good impression.

The internship search can be tiring, time consuming and hectic amidst your classes, projects and assignments for school. At the end of the day, it’s going to be worth it.

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

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