By Jess Carnprobst
The greatest, most stressful time of the year is here: internship hunting season. We are all desperate to find the perfect internship, along with all of the perfect materials when applying. I’ve done my fair share of stressing over finding the right internship and attempting to make myself look flawless on applications, so I decided to share some of the tips and pointers I have received.
1. Keep your options open
Most of us have a dream internship that our sights are set on, but it is important to look for a plan B as well. Sometimes things don’t work out with your first choice, and although it may be tough, everything happens for a reason. Brush your shoulder off and move on to your variety of backup options. One of your other choices will undoubtedly provide you with an unforgettable summer full of memories and lessons. Choosing an internship in a field of public relations that you didn’t expect to be interested in can teach you a lot more about what you want in your future than if you choose an internship with an environment you expected and hoped for.
2. Blindly searching isn’t a bad thing
I blindly searched for internships during my freshman year, applied to two, and accepted an internship in Pittsburgh. I had no idea what to expect out of the summer, but it was undoubtedly one of my best. Even though I felt like I had no idea what I was doing during the searching process, I was finding interesting internships along the way. Trust your instincts and listen to the many great mentors around you. Randomly stumbling across a website may be all you need to connect and find the perfect internship.
3. It’s never too early to start
Of course, it’s a good idea to get started early in the year, but I’m not just talking about timing. For all of you underclassmen out there, don’t be afraid to start applying now. The worst that can happen is they say no. You’ll never know unless you try. If you do land an internship while you’re an underclassman, you will have greater chances at more competitive internships in your later years. Employers love seeing driven students who didn’t waste time before striving to apply their knowledge in the real world.
4. Use your available resources
With all of the social media and easy access employer’s websites, there is no excuse for not finding plenty of options. There are Twitter accounts dedicated to tweeting about potential internships. Find a few and start following them. These accounts will help keep your options open and add variety to your searches. PRSSA’s lovely VP of External Relations emails all dues-paying members with internship openings, and Marisa Dockum will even search for internships in a specific location if you ask. It can’t get any easier than that! You can also try Google; some pretty good results come up and will lead you to even more options.
Internship hunting is only as intimidating as you make it, so get out there and have some fun! When you’re putting yourself out there, showing interest in a company and letting your unique personality shine through, you will undoubtedly find an amazing internship with unforgettable experiences. Keep your options open and stay determined!