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How to land your dream internship

Goodell Hall Maria Uminski/Collegian

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Though the snow on the ground may have you thinking differently, spring is really just around the corner. As we get into March its time to reflect on the wonderful things this month brings us: spring break, St. Patrick’s Day, and, oh yeah, internship deadlines. Maybe those aren’t so wonderful. As we creep closer to summer, more and more internships stop accepting applications. But don’t panic yet! If you haven’t applied anywhere, there is still time to put together a killer application and land that internship of your dreams; or at the very least, not the internship of your nightmares.

Research

Start looking around for potential internships. Career Services offers a database to search internships based on criteria such as job function or location. Internships.com and internmatch.com offer a similar service. Keep in mind not all companies advertise their internships so finding the right one might involve a little more investigation. If you have a particular place in mind but it hasn’t show up in any searches, try going to the company’s website or calling to find out more information. Or just ask around. Find out where your friends have interned in the past or if one of your professors knows of any internships that line up with your major.

Get organized

Once you’ve got a few places in mind you’ll need to sort them out. Make a list of all your potential internships ordering them from your top choice down to back ups. Under each internship make notes of which department it is you’ll be applying to, the name of the person receiving your application, the application deadline, and what your application should include (resume, cover letter, portfolio).

Write/Edit Your Resume

Update (or write for the first time) your resume with recent information. Maybe you’re taking a class this semester that would be relevant to your internship, add it. Play around with the format. Make sure the descriptions of your past experience are specific to you and your experience. You won’t stand out from other applicants with generic information that could be found on any resume. Then show it to people. Head over to Career Services in Goodell for a 15 minute walk-in appointment. Ask friends, family, or professors if they willl take a look. Most people have different ideas as to how a resume should look so expect conflicting suggestions. All you really need to know is if it is easy to read and highlights your best features and achievements.

Shop

If you can, buy a new shirt or dress. Something that when you get the call from HR that you’ve got an interview, you know exactly what you’re going to wear. You don’t need a whole new outfit but something to build your outfit around like a new tie or pair of shoes. The boost of confidence you will get from knowing you look polished and professional will help you relax going into your interview. And maybe pick up a new pair of shorts while you’re at it, spring is on the way you know.

Sam can be reached at stgillis@student.umass.edu

 

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