Preparing for Your Internship Search

The spring semester has picked up and while we are all busy with classes, it is important to set aside some time to review any internships you may have saved or search for potential options that interest you. The key to avoiding anxiety and uncertainty is to be prepared the best you can.

Here are some suggestions on what you can do to prepare to look for an internship:  

  1. Discover what interests you – Your preferences matter. Internships (though not set in stone) can significantly impact your full-time job search process. Search for work that is suited to your tastes and will benefit you for the field you plan on entering. If you are not sure or are open to several options, see which opportunities align with and require the skills you already have, what type of environment you prefer to work in, etc. You never know, you may discover a love for a field/company/position you would have never thought of entering before. If you find yourself especially stuck, speaking to a career advisor may be beneficial.

2. Handshake/LinkedIn updatesUpdate your Starr Search/Handshake and LinkedIn accounts to reflect recent experience, coursework, skills, etc. Handshake allows you to apply for internships directly on the site making it crucial to have your profile polished, with your resume attached. Handshake also allows you to filter your options, so it is a great time to also think about certain factors such as where you feel the most comfortable to work in location wise, paid/unpaid, remote/onsite, etc. LinkedIn is a great source for internships as well but especially for networking and connecting with others. You never know whose eye you will catch with your profile!

3. Brush up on resume, cover letter, and interview skills Review your resume and make sure it highlights the skills and experience you would want recruiters to pay attention to and remember. Craft cover letters that show your passion and interest, and why your skills would be an asset to the company. Familiarize yourself with the interview process and build up confidence through practice. This is the time to utilize the career center services! Starr provides resume and cover letter reviews and mock interviews with personalized feedback to help you along this journey.

4. Get comfortable with networking – Networking can be intimidating, therefore starting small is key. Reach out to alumni, students within your major or field of interest, professors, etc. to establish connections and open you to any opportunities. Once you are used to the flow of networking, cold emailing those who have a position you are interested in, reaching out on social media, and setting up informational interviews can be your next step to building a network. Use your position as a student to your fullest advantage! Many people are willing to connect and help undergrads.

It may seem stressful and taxing at first, but your time as a student is extremely valuable and crucial for internship searches and opportunities. What you do now can help set the tone post-grad. As always, Starr is available to you for help on any part of your search. Good luck Bearcats!

– Mashal Burney, Peer for Career

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