By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.
Searching for internships has been the one of the most stressful parts of my college career. There are thousands I could apply for and only a few that would lead me to my dream job at National Geographic. So after dozens of advising meetings and searching hundreds of internship websites, I have amassed helpful tips for how to find the internship that suits your unique future goals. Getting the internship, however, is all on you.
Tip 1: Search online internship websites.
This may seem silly, and probably overdone, but I have stumbled on some interesting internships opportunities on websites. I have even found international internships in countries I’ve always wanted to visit that offer college credits.
Here are a few of my faves:
Internships.com: Offers general and regional internships, guides, and articles.
Usajobs.gov: An official U.S. government website with jobs for college students;
ie3global.ous.edu: Offers an array of global internships
Tip 2: Use your campus resources
Career centers are there for a reason: to help you get jobs and internships. In addition, most colleges will have an internship page on their website. Check on a regular basis because the site is always being updated with new opportunities. Certain majors may even have their own internship sites. Talk to professors. Don’t be afraid to ask; I have uncovered some hidden internship gems that way.
Tip 3: Talk to the company you want to work for
Let your dream company know you want to work for them! If it’s possible, visit the companies you are interested in and talk to different employees in the company. Find out what they like about the company and if they have ever had a need for an intern. If the idea of getting work for free makes them nervous, most colleges will provide internship credits. If it’s impossible to visit companies, then send them emails or take a few minutes to call and ask about internships and the necessary qualifications for an internship there.
Informational interviews another are a great way to introduce yourself to someone in the company. Find the position in the company that you aspire to have and call up that person. Tell them you would love to talk about how they got to where they are today because you hope to do the same. Who doesn’t love talking about themselves?! (Remember: it’s not an interview of you, you are doing the interviewing. Come prepared with questions!)
Tip 4: Treating getting an internship like a job
This is the best advice I’ve gotten. You have to show companies that they are making a beneficial decision to their company. Display your talents and be a little pushy to convince potential employers that you are worth the time and manpower. Each internship can be a potential future job. When I interact with a company I am interested in, I write the date, company name, the name of the person I talked to, and what we talked about in a notebook. I also constantly add potential employers to a list. I usually follow-up with a company after my first call, even if they originally say no (you never know…things can change on a day -to-day basis!)
I hope some of these tips help. As daunting as the task may be, once you land the internship, you will realize that the hard word was worth it.
And hey, it’s not too early to start looking for the summer! Happy Hunting!