By Bridget Fornaro
Do you have a dream of working in a certain industry? But you don’t have any idea how to break into it? Look no further, I’m going to give you a few tips on why you should intern at least once during your academic career.
Internships help students with an opportunity to try out a work environment before they pursue a path in that career. In addition, internships provide beneficial on-the-job experience and can be used as resume builders.
During my college career, I have interned for three record labels: Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records, and Big Beat Records. Each time I learned something new about the record business.The first two labels, I was a publicity intern, and I was thrown into the fire pit of public relations and media. Those two departments taught me what it was like to work in a chaotic fast-paced environment. And right now, I’m a marketing intern working with EDM artists. It’s a much more calmer environment compared to my last two experiences. With an internship, you don’t know what you can expect from them.
One thing you must know about these internships, they’re unpaid. Most companies don’t pay their interns. So you might need to enroll in an internship course with your school. If you’re able to get a paid internship, you have found hidden treasure.
To look for internships, first check out your college’s career job site. Some companies reach out to universities and ask for interns that way. Also don’t be afraid to ask your instructors if they know any professionals that need interns in their field.
If you are not able to find any internships on your college’s career site, look on websites like: LinkedIn.com, InternQueen.com, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and FastWebs.com. Type in keywords that match the career path you want to work in. And start applying to ones that appeal to you.
The next thing you should do when applying for internships is match your resume skill set with the job description skill set on the job application. Human resource recruiters are looking for resumes that are almost identical to the job descriptions online. Now if you’ve never done a certain task, or if you don’t know photoshop for example, then don’t put it on your resume. Lying is never the answer.
If you reach the next step, the interview: research the company from head to toe. Learn everything you can about the business. Be prepared for any question the hiring manager could ask you about. Also bring a pen and paper to the interview, write down notes about what the hiring manager is saying, and if you have any questions. Save them for the last part of the interview.
After the interview, send a ‘Thank you’ note or card to the hiring manager within 24-48 hours after your meeting. It might make an impact on their choice, also it’s a thoughtful gesture to show appreciation. And don’t forget to follow-up with an email or phone call to check in with the hiring manager on your application status after two weeks.
Then if you get the internship, show up early, dress to impress, and be an active listener when told directions. Learn as much as you can, engage yourself in as many activities, and be ready to prioritize. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and go around asking if you can help on a certain project. Be open to any task you’re handed. Some tasks are cooler than others. There might be sometimes you are fetching coffee and food for your department, but it comes with the territory. As an intern, do as much as you can get into your field. Don’t be afraid to network as well, you’re there for a reason. Meet with other department professionals, ask if you could learn about that department. You never know what doors could open.
And lastly, have fun at your internship. It’s hiring season for the fall/winter semester, so good luck friends.
If you have anymore questions, please shoot me a tweet @ohhbridgetx. I would love to talk to you guys one-on-one on interning. Happy applying!