Landing an Internship

Yay! Midterms are over!!! Or not so much (depending on your department), but now comes the all important internship application time, SWWEEEET :(

Here's a simple and easy guide to landing an internship for the summer!

Step 1: Visit Career Services

There are a lot of them around campus, so find the corresponding office based on your major and school (for me, that's SPEA Careers). They love to help with the four very important pieces of paper all interns need to have.

Also, they have lots of employers coming to them looking for internships (so you aren't the only one telling companies that you're awesome and the next biggest thing).

Step 2: Make sure your application materials are ready

Every Intern needs a Resume, Cover Letter, List of References, and Writing Sample. These documents aren't any longer than a page each, and basically provide all your experience, skills, and course work that an employer would find relevant. The Career Development Center has many friendly and helpful people waiting to help improve your resume. Also, their website has some examples and good info on how to prepare each of these documents. 

Annnnnnd if you are so talented and able to speak multiple languages fluently (saying "Donde esta el bano" and "No comprendo" do not count as fluent), you might try translating your resume and cover letter to this other language. YAY! Don't forget to ask your foreign language professor (do this very nicely) to proof read this too!

Step 3: Search Internships!!!

This is a super daunting process and so some people have been smart enough to create websites to help you find internships. Or you can search your favorite companies and check their employment page. I use these websites...

  • (If you don't have a profile, stop reading and go make one. You need it.)

You can also check listings from your career services office (which you now know where it is because they helped you write your resume!).

Step 4: Apply

When I say apply, I mean apply, and apply, and apply. Keep applying until someone says "You're Hired!". You could have to put out dozens of resumes and applications before you get an offer. DON'T FORGET to customize your cover letter and information to match the employer. They like it when you make it easy for them to see why you're the best.

Step 5: Wait

This part sucks... answer your emails and wait to hear back from an employer. You will get some rejections, and that stinks. But keep your head up, you only need 1 internship, and you want it to be a good match.

When you FINALLY hear back:

Be nice, be professional, and take your time responding (I mean this in a don't fire off some quick email, write a nice and professional response way). Some companies will have you interview. If you cannot get there, find a nice white background in an area with little noise, and do a video interview. Employers understand (and prefer) that you are enrolled in school and can't just skip out on a whim, especially if the internship is half way across the country.


And Congrats! and Good Luck on your internship search!

For another post about internships and some stuff to do while interning, check out Summer... Adventures in Internship-land.

PS... Here are some of the most common mistakes that have gotten my applications thrown out...

  • Misspellings and grammatical errors in cover letter
  • Sending the wrong letter and resume
  • Adressing it the the right person
  • Not following the instructions on the application
  • The CEO's kid wanted an internship that year

It happens to everyone so if you make a mistake, don't get discouraged.

About The Author
Devyn ManschotArts Management, 2013, Chicago IL

I'm Devyn Manschot, Arts Management Class of 2013 (graduating early! yipee!). Originally from the Chicago area, I've been involved all over campus, from the Hutton Honors college to the Ballroom Dance Club. I love to dance and have a strange affinity for accounting.