Hey everyone, it’s been an eventful two weeks since I last posted. Midterms have been coming at me hard, but I got to have a little escape from school by visiting home last weekend. A bunch of friends and I made the 6 hour drive to Phoenix to hang out with my family and head down to Tempe for the ASU vs. USC football game, and it was a ton of fun! If you didn’t catch the game you missed out: the Trojans won 42-14 and the team is definitely looking great heading into the rest of the season.
So today we’re talking about internships and careers, probably the most intimidating part of being a college student (yes, even more intimidating than finals). Getting an internship may seem like a scary and long process, but once you get some experience talking to company recruiters and have your resume all nice and pretty you’ll have more than enough confidence to nail the interview and get the job. Although I spent last summer in London with the Viterbi Overseas program, I still went through the whole process of interviewing and applying for internships, and I want to share the most helpful tips from my experiences on how to secure a spot for the summer.
- Clean up your resume. Everyone knows that your resume is one of the most important parts of searching for an internship. If you don’t have the chance to directly speak with a recruiter, your resume is your primary way of presenting yourself to them. Make sure your resume highlights your strengths and showcases what you are truly interested in. Don’t simply stack a piece of paper with a list of everything you’ve done since the beginning of high school, rather include experiences and involvements that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Still have a little bit of space to fill? Include some of your interests and classes you have taken to add a more personal touch.
- Prepare your Elevator Pitch. What’s an elevator pitch? It’s a 15-30 second blurb about yourself in which you introduce who you are, what you’re studying, your interests, and what your most substantial involvements are. While it may sound easy it takes a bit to perfect, and a good elevator pitch makes a fantastic first impression to set yourself apart from other candidates.
- Present yourself well. It almost seems that this one should go without saying, but you would not believe how many underdressed and underprepared people show up to the Career Fair and other career related events. Before you go you should know what the appropriate dress should be. Make sure you have clean, pressed clothes, and wear dress shoes (believe it or not, tennis shoes don’t go well with your suit).
- Research the companies you are interested in. Recruiters say all the time how much they hate when students come up and ask “so what’s your company all about?” If you are taking the time to look into potentially getting an internship at a company, you absolutely need to know some background before applying. All it takes is a simple Google search and internet browsing to find out the basics of the company, and showing that you have knowledge of the company can help impress recruiters.
- Prepare questions. Very much related to the last tip, ask questions! Whether you are talking to someone at a Career Fair, info session, or an interview, asking questions about the company and that person’s experiences with the company is very important. Not only does it show the representative that you are clearly interested by asking company related questions, the answers they give you can provide a great deal of insight that can help you decide whether or not you really want to work for that company.
- Know what you want. Lastly, but most important, is knowing what you want in an internship. Getting an internship and then performing well at that internship can hinge largely on how interested you are in what you are doing. While a big time company name may look great on a resume, maybe the small-scale startup can give you more hands-on experience in an area that you are passionate about. Don’t get an internship just to say you had one, get an internship that will help you figure out what you want to do in the future.
I hope that list helps you out at least a little bit, and just know that while the internship search can seem daunting, it will all be worth it when you’re loving your life in the summer. The Trojans have a bye-week this week but are back in action next Thursday against Washington, so until then Fight On and Beat the Huskies![author title=”Author” author_id=””] href="#" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text