Tag: internships

How to get an internship

So this week, while sitting in my monthly internship seminar, it dawned on me: I talk a lot about my internship experiences on my blog, but shouldn’t I offer some of my tips to my readers? Well, today I will be doing exactly that!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have held three internships. The truth is, finding an internship can be a long and arduous process. It takes tons of research and follow-ups to get an internship. However, if you follow my tips below, I sincerely believe you should have no trouble landing an internship for next semester!

  • First internship? Search local.

My first internship was actually here at the UIC Office of Sustainability. Previous to holding this internship, I had no other work experience related to my major. I figured an internship on campus would actually be ideal for my first internship, because it is a) on campus and b) a great way to begin my career training doing something for my school. This is why I highly recommend you apply for something more in-reach when looking for your first internship. Not only is it convenient, but it also provides you a great connection to UIC.

  • Research online

When looking for an internship, I always spend a lot of time using Google or other internship websites sifting through the various opportunities out there. There are a TON of internship opportunities out there. Some of my favorite websites are internships.com, entertainmentcareers.com, and UIC’s Career Services website. Also, your college should have an internship advisor, so it would be wise to go in and talk to them about opportunities. 

  • Can’t find one? Make a call!

If you can’t find an internship, try calling a company or business of your interest and ask their manager if they are hiring any interns. Although I have never done this personally, I have heard plenty of students who have had luck obtaining an internship simply because they made an effort by calling the business. Sometimes business aren’t hiring interns but are willing to bring one on if you make a good case of why they should!

  • Apply promptly

Once you come across an interesting internship, apply right away! Chances are other people are applying for the internship at the same time you are. If you delay in sending your application and resume, these people will have a better chance of getting the internship, simply because they applied first.

  • Revise your cover letter and resume

This should be pretty known already, but make sure you have your cover letter and resume revised before submitting them. It is imperative. No employer wants to see tons of misspellings and grammar mistakes.

  • The importance of the follow-up

So you can apply for as many internship as you want, but the hardest part is getting a response from the company. This is why it is EXTREMELY important to follow up a week or two after you submit your application. How? Just send a nice email to the hiring manager asking about the status of your application. If they do not reply to your follow up within a week, send one again! Every internship I have received is because I followed up on my application. Take a gulp of courage and follow up on your application!

  • Interview, Interview, Interview

This should be straight forward as well, but make sure you prepare for any interviews you get. UIC’s Office of Career Services provides great mock interviews, so if you aren’t comfortable with your interviewing skills, this is a great way to get practice. Also, make sure you dress nice — dress to impress!
With these simple tips, I think you have a good chance of landing an internship. Internships are  good opportunities to apply everything you’re learning in the classroom into a real-life setting. With an internship, your odds of getting a job after graduation are much more likely!
So what are you waiting for? Get on it!
Until next time…
Mike : )

Interning for success

When I came to UIC, I knew that I couldn’t possibly learn everything about my future career in the classroom. I had to extend a foot outside class and learn how to apply my theories from class into practice.

As a communication major and managerial skills minor, my goal is to be involved in the field of public relations after graduation. In fact, my dream job is to be a public relations manager for a record label or recording artist. In order to fully grasp what it takes to make it in the business, I understood that I needed to learn all I could about the field.

I landed my first internship sophomore year. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a social media intern for the Office of Sustainability here on campus. In that role, I contributed to the office blog, added content to the website, ran the Facebook page and Twitter account for the office and helped spread awareness about the office’s initiatives through a couple of videos I made for the organization. It was a great way to learn how to represent a brand and communicate with others through social media and online tools. I am truly happy I was able to start my career-oriented work at the Office of Sustainability.

A video I made at the Office of Sustainability internship

After about a year of interning for the office, I decided to pursue other interests for my junior year of college. Last semester, I started remotely interning for a independent record label. I learned some valuable stuff about the business and what happens behind the scenes of the music industry. I also learned a thing or two about online promotions and event planning through webinars with industry professionals. However, I felt the need to be in a physical workspace. The internship at the label was a good sneak preview of the public relations and communications field in the music industry; however, I wanted a full preview.

Before break last semester I began looking for a new internship. Around that time, I had a chance to meet the promotions manager for a major radio network in Chicago during a class presentation. It was then I learned of a promotions internship opportunity. After applying, I was able to snag an interview. After a great interview this past Wednesday, I was happy to find out that I got it! In the coming weeks, I will begin a new experience as a promotions intern for a major radio network. I am more than excited to start, as this internship will show me hands-on how to conduct great promotions and public relations.

Interning is essential if you want to get a great job when you graduate. I really encourage all of you to intern if you haven’t yet! Not only are you able to receive academic credit for it, but more importantly, you will learn a great deal about what you want to do later in life. You will also have some experience to show your employers when you begin job hunting. To be quite honest, the benefits of an internship are endless.

Are internships hard to find? Not at all! Is it hard to get into one? Maybe. Luckily, UIC has a variety of resources for internships and prepping. Go to the UIC Office of Career Services website to look at a list of places that are currently look for interns. Also, if you search the careers section of the website for a company where you’d like to intern, I’m sure you will find some great opportunities for internships. Furthermore, I know if you get in contact with the LAS Internship Program they will be more than willing to help you find some organizations you can intern at.

The point is — there are many places you can intern. You just have to take the first step and start looking! Interning benefits you in a number of ways…so get to it!